While the M’s have already promoted most of the Tacoma roster to Seattle this year, it sounds like, despite their earlier claims that they weren’t going to do much when rosters expand, the M’s will be adding both Matt Tuiasosopo and Luis Valbuena to the big league roster, along with the obvious guys (Brandon Morrow, Mark Lowe, Rob Johnson, and Jared Wells). Justin Thomas could possibly get called up as well.
Tui’s had an excellent final three months of the season, growing into his body, adding power, and looking like the prospect the M’s hoped he would develop into when they spent $2 million to sign him as an 18-year-old. He’s not anything close to a finished product, but the M’s are hoping that the .305/.383/.546 mark he’s put up since the all-star break is indicative of real improvement. He won’t play much, but if the team decides to rebuild this winter and trades Beltre, he might actually be in the mix for the third base job next spring.
Valbuena is a bit of an enigma, flashing different skills at different times – he occasionally hits for average and has gap power, but he rarely does both at the same times. He’s not a great defender at second base (that’s being kind, honestly), but he’s a left-handed hitter with a decent approach at the plate. He has almost no star potential, but if he can take some steps forward, he could be a decent role player.
And, for what its worth, Morrow made his final Triple-A start today, and it went well – 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 82 pitches. He wasn’t throwing strikes, but he got a lot of outs on balls in play and was able to get through six without having to throw a ton of pitches. He’s still got some significant improvements to make, but there’s no reason to think he’s not one of the five best starting pitchers in the organization heading into 2009.