On September 1, major league rosters can expand to over 25 players. The only requirement a player needs to be called-up is that they must either be on the organization’s 40-man roster or be added to the 40-man roster before being called-up.
For the Iowa Cubs, eight players are on the 40-man man roster of the Chicago Cubs. Being in that group does not mean an automatic call-up. Decisions on September call-ups are made based upon need, desire to see how specific players perform at the major league level, and generally adding pitching depth.
On the offensive side, Josh Vitters, Dave Sappelt, Mike Olt, and J.C. Boscan are on Chicago’s 40-man.
A positive sign for the chances of Boscan occurred when he was not removed from the 40-man when sent back to Iowa after a couple days in Chicago earlier this month. Teams like to carry an extra catcher during September and the chances of Boscan going up are good.
Mike Olt is an interesting option. Olt, who was acquired at the trading deadline from the Texas Rangers organization, is a highly ranked prospect who has struggled through a tough year. Olt began the season struggling with vision problems. The vision problems were corrected but Olt never really got on track and is currently hitting only .200 for the season, .161 in 35 games with Iowa. It serves no purpose to have Olt struggle in Chicago and it may be in his best interest to recover from a tough season by going home and being ready to go in spring training.
Vitters has been injured the majority of the year and has only appeared in 28 games for Iowa. Vitters has hit when in the lineup but the likely destination for him is winter ball to recoup some lost at-bats.
Sappelt is a toss-up. Chicago has five outfielders already and rehabbing Ryan Sweeney will make it six when he is ready to go which should be next week. Sweeney will need a spot on the 40-man when he returns. Sappelt doesn't appear to be in the Cubs’ plans for the future and is just as likely to lose his spot on the 40-man as he is to be called up. The Cubs have made it no secret they want to see whether Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic may fit into their future plans, which would not leave many at-bats for Sappelt.
A look at the possible pitching promotions will be coming shortly.