Rochester's playoff push affecting callup plans

Buxton, Berrios and Vargas among likely candidates to join Twins in September

Rochester's playoff push affecting callup plans

CLEVELAND -- With rosters set to expand on Thursday, Twins manager Paul Molitor said he has a good grasp on who will be called up, but he said potential promotions could be delayed by whether or not Triple-A Rochester makes the International League playoffs.

The regular season ends for Rochester on Monday, but the Red Wings are 3 1/2 games back of the Wild Card spot entering Tuesday. Molitor said he's had regular communication with interim general manager Rob Antony in recent weeks about potential September callups.

"We've had multiple talks about what's going on and what we're going to do," Molitor said. "I think some of it lies on if Rochester makes a late surge here and finds its way to the playoffs. Are we going to be OK for however long they go as opposed to getting here as soon as possible? That's the part that's up in the air. It's not 100 percent the exact people, but we have a good idea."

Top candidates to be called up include outfielders Byron Buxton and Daniel Palka, first baseman Kennys Vargas, catcher John Ryan Murphy and pitchers Jose Berrios, Tyler Duffey and Adalberto Mejia. Mejia, though, is nearing his innings limit, so if he comes up it would be in a relief role. Outfielder Adam Brett Walker, the Twins' No. 15 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is also a candidate due to his impressive power, but has a .315 on-base percentage with 194 strikeouts in 125 games.

Top Prospects: Walker, MIN

Injured relievers Buddy Boshers (elbow), Trevor May (back) and Tommy Milone (shoulder) are also expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list once healthy. Boshers, who started a rehab assignment with Rochester on Monday, is the closest to returning, while May and Milone are set to throw their first bullpen sessions on Thursday.

Minnesota's 40-man roster is currently at capacity, but one spot could be opened by placing Byungho Park on the 60-day DL. Catcher Mitch Garver could get consideration to be added if that's the case.

"Some of those things are limited by roster issues," Molitor said. "We're going to have to dance around those things and protect people we need to in terms of who we're going to add on and who we're not and how that affects their future."

Molitor added that September will allow the organization to get a look at several young players and see if they can contribute next year. One issue, however, is that there is expected to be a new front office in place this offseason, which could complicate their evaluation process.

"I don't fret over that," Molitor said. "It's different because we have some unknowns here going forward in terms of people who are integral to the philosophy we go forward with. So it does put us in a strange position, but it's one of those uncontrollable things. We'll see how it plays out. You'd hope you'd still have input and be able to bring people up to speed if there are changes, but it's speculative until it unfolds."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.