Michael Taylor finally gets his wish. The former top prospect of the Phillies system has been called up for the September roster expansion – hopefully to stay in the major leagues for good.
“It was really cool,” Taylor said. “I gave everyone a hug, walked out and celebrated with my teammates for a little bit. Then, I just kind of scrambled around like a chicken with my head cut off for like 20 minutes just trying to figure out what to do.”
He better figure out how to hit if he’s going to be an impact player in the bigs. Taylor is going to be 26 this offseason, pretty old for a prospect. But as I’ve said before, I honestly believe he could be a late bloomer and really help the A’s if/when he figures it out.
Joining him are fellow Rivercats (AAA affiliate of the A’s) INF Adam Rosales and RPAndrew Carignan. This is the first group to be called up early with a second group of players likely to arrive when the minor league playoffs end.
I actually thought that Taylor would have to wait until that second group got the call. The A’s have shown a pattern in recent years by preferring to keep their prospects in the minors so they can get some post-season experience and learn how to win. Obviously that hasn’t really worked, because the big club still hasn’t produced a winning season since 2006.
Taylor had a solid bounce back year hitting .272/.360/.456, though has yet to gain his 2009 form. Nevertheless, 2011 has been encouraging for Taylor, along with Brandon Allen and Chris Carter getting some major league at bats. If Taylor is going to produce at this level, he will likely have to start doing it next season. So now the team gets a closer look so that we all know what to expect in 2012.
Rosales had a bit of a down year, possibly due to his injury to his foot but Rosales is what he is. He’s a damn fine utility infielder that can play all the positions and could even be used in the outfield if need be. He’s never going to be a star but has a little pop in his bat and defensive value. It’s nice to see him back up in the big leagues. He plays hard and looks like he’s having fun and if he had more playing time he might be a fan favorite in the mold of Eric Byrnes.
Andrew Carignan remains a bit of a mystery. The name was familiar but I was surprised that I knew so little about a pitcher being sent to the major leagues. He’s certainly earned it with a 1.85 ERA over three levels. He started the year with 11 scoreless innings of relief racking up 12 strikeouts and hasn’t slowed down much being promoted twice. I’ve only seen him once but he was sporting a mid nineties fastball with a pretty nasty breaking ball.
I’m cautiously excited about this kid as it kind of reminds me of when Andrew Bailey came out of nowhere. Bailey had been a nothing prospect and now he’s a two time all star closer. When I saw Carignan he was going right after hitters and seemed to have that bulldog mentality that you look for from the back of your bullpen.
Oakland would benefit from having a couple of closer options lined up going forward. Should someone offers a serious package of hitters for Bailey, the A’s have to take it knowing their offensive woes.
Once the A’s minor league teams end their playoff run, I would expect to see Chris Carter – whom I’ve talked about a lot before - and probably Tyson Ross or Graham Godfrey who provide a bit more pitching depth. Jai Miller or Jermaine Mitchell have both had fantastic minor leagues seasons, but with such a crowded outfield, it might be hard to find room for these guys. The same thing can be said for A’s top prospect Grant Green. While I’d love to get a look at Green, it seems unlikely this year. We’ll wait and see what happens when the time comes.
UP NEXT: In a few days I’m going to be doing an off-season preview with some of the moves I might make. I think the A’s are at a critical juncture here. While they were largely disappointing this year, they will be infusing a lot of young talent from the minors and unloading lots of contracts next year so it should be an interesting season next year.
Of course, as Billy Beane has said multiple times, it will be hard to plan for the future with the future of the ballpark (and therefore the franchise) in so much doubt. So we’ll see.
About the Author
Written by Josh Muller
My name is Josh Muller. I was born and raised in Oakland, California and currently live in San Francisco. I watch sports religiously and organize my calender year to coincide with baseball season. I'm a diehard A's and Warriors fan, love talking sports all day and believe that the words "Opening Day" are the two greatest in the English language.