MILWAUKEE -- Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and manager Craig Counsell had another conversation on Wednesday morning about September call-ups before Melvin departed for a visit to Triple-A Colorado Springs. They anticipate bringing only a handful of players to Milwaukee when rosters expand.
"I don't think we're looking to cover ourselves in bit roles. That's not where we're at," Counsell said. "There has to be a role for the player, or a development gain by bringing a player here."
With that criteria in mind, here are some leading candidates:
RHP Zach Davies
Upcoming off-days mean the Brewers will not require a fifth starter until Sept. 5 in Cincinnati, and Davies is an option. Acquired from the Orioles in a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal for Gerardo Parra, the 22-year-old Davies must be added to Milwaukee's 40-man roster by November to avoid being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft, so there would be little downside to giving him a late-season look in the big leagues. He's No. 11 on MLB.com's list of the top Brewers prospects.
"We're hoping Zach Davies can step into [Mike] Fiers' position next year," Brewers GM Doug Melvin said after trading Fiers to the Astros and acquiring Davies the next day. "We may see [Davies] later on this year. For now, we'll let him pitch in Triple-A and sort of regroup. Starting pitching is always the toughest because it's so expensive."
IF Luis Sardinas
Named the Pacific Coast League's player of the week for Aug. 10-16, Sardinas has already seen action for the Brewers this season and would provide coverage at second base, third base and shortstop. With the Brewers out of the race, he could even serve as the starting second baseman in September.
OF Domingo Santana
There is a strong possibility that Santana, one of the players acquired from Houston in the Carlos Gomez /Fiers trade, will already be with the Brewers before Sept. 1. He's under consideration for a promotion as soon as Friday, with the Brewers entering a period in which they need only four starting pitchers.
Santana, a power-hitting corner outfielder, is already on the 40-man roster after appearing in 14 games for the Astros earlier this season. He hit his 18th Minor League home run of the season on Tuesday night and entered Wednesday with a .371/.421/.543 slash line since the trade.
SS Orlando Arcia and RHP Jorge Lopez
Arcia is Milwaukee's consensus top prospect and Lopez is No.9. Like Davies, each must be added to the roster later this year to avoid Rule 5 Draft exposure. But neither Arcia nor Lopez will be available until later in September, since Double-A Biloxi has already qualified for the Southern League's postseason. If the Shuckers play deep into the playoffs, the question will be whether it's worth bringing these players to the big leagues for only a couple of weeks.
RHP Yhonathan Barrios
The Brewers acquired the hard-throwing 23-year-old from the Pirates in exchange for Aramis Ramirez. Barrios will be a six-year Minor League free agent at season's end, and the only ways for the Brewers to ensure his return are adding him to the 40-man roster or working out a Minor League contract for 2016. If they do the former, a call-up might make sense, but like Arcia, Barrios is part of the playoff-bound Biloxi club.
Teams almost always add an emergency catcher in September. Juan Centeno is already on the 40-man roster and Robinzon Diaz and Nevin Ashley are also at Colorado Springs. … If the Brewers want a bat with pop, they could call upon first baseman Matt Clark or third baseman Matt Dominguez. Had Dominguez performed better at the plate in Colorado Springs after the Brewers claimed him off waivers in June, he might be more of a lock for a call-up in light of Milwaukee's uncertainty at third base for 2016.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.