Major league teams are able to expand their active rosters to as many as 40 players in September.

A September promotion means some extra cash for many minor leaguers who are underpaid. A player earning a minimum major league salary would receive $86,532 for being on the roster all 29 days in September.

Who will the Red Sox promote? Boston recalled just five players last September while also activating three players from the injured list Sept. 1.

Manager Alex Cora didn’t want too many extra players around while his club tried to clinch the AL East title. He promoted only the pitchers and position players he felt would actually help.

Teams out of contention (or fading from the playoff picture like the 2019 Red Sox) sometimes promote more players to evaluate them for the following season. In 2014, every healthy Red Sox minor leaguer on the 40-man roster (expect for Alex Hassan) received a September promotion.

Brewer, Weber, Velazquez, Lakins


Colten Brewer (48 innings, 4.31 ERA for Boston), Ryan Weber (31 innings, 4.35 ERA) and Hector Velazquez (48 innings, 5.81 ERA) all have spent significant time with the Sox this year. All three are strong candidates to be September call-ups.

The Red Sox also will likely promote Travis Lakins (131/3 innings, 4.05 ERA).

Bobby Poyner

Poyner and Trevor Kelley remain on the 40-man roster. Kelley has pitched just one inning for Boston all season. It’s less likely he’s promoted.

Poyner surprisingly has received few opportunities with Boston (4 innings, 7 earned runs) this year. He has spent just eight days on Boston’s active roster after spending 81 days on the active roster last year. He has pitched well at Pawtucket though with a 3.33 ERA, .207 batting average against and 1.20 WHIP in 54 innings.

Mike Shawaryn


The Red Sox are stretching out Shawaryn at Pawtucket after he spent the past couple months as a reliever. He pitched five innings Sunday. He could start games for Boston in September.

Shawaryn struggled as a reliever, posting an 8.53 ERA in 122/3 innings for the Red Sox and a 8.47 ERA in 17 innings for the PawSox.

He has pitched much better as a starter. He has a 3.46 ERA in 13 starts for the PawSox.

Tzu-Wei Lin

Lin hasn’t played a game for Boston since May 3 when he suffered a left knee sprain in Chicago. The Red Sox activated him from the injured list July 1 and optioned him to Pawtucket. He has struggled in his return. He slashed .228/.284/.291/.575 in 21 games during July. He has a .228/.291/.405/.696 line in 20 games during August.

He likely will receive a September promotion despite struggling at the plate.


Bobby Dalbec
(not on 40-man roster)

The Red Sox need to add Dalbec to the 40-man roster by early November to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. There’s a decent chance Boston adds him to the roster two months earlier as a September call-up. It would be a good opportunity for him to experience life in the major leagues before the 2020 season when he has a chance to make the big league club out of spring training.

Dalbec is batting .295 with a .337 on-base percentage, .538 slugging percentage, .876 OPS, five homers, four doubles and 11 RBI in 21 games at Triple-A Pawtucket. He earned a promotion from Double-A Portland on Aug. 3.

C.J. Chatham
(not on 40-man roster)

Chatham also must be added to the 40-man roster by early November or else he’ll be Rule 5 Draft eligible.

Chatham received a promotion from Portland to Pawtucket on Aug. 13. He’s having a decent year with a .294/.325/.410/.735 line. The 24-year-old, a 2016 second-round pick, has the ability to hit for more power. It hasn’t been there yet. He has played only 258 minor league games over three and a half seasons because he missed almost all of 2017 with a hamstring injury.


The shortstop has started 11 games at second base recently. The Red Sox need a long-term second baseman with Dustin Pedroia’s career potentially finished.

It seems more likely Chatham will head to the Arizona Fall League for the first time in his professional career instead of being a September call-up.

Tanner Houck
(not on 40-man roster)

Tanner Houck, who the Red Sox converted from a starter to a reliever in early July, has a 2.45 ERA (181/3 innings, five earned runs), 1.31 WHIP and .188 batting average against in 13 outings since his promotion to Pawtucket.

The Red Sox haven’t ruled out moving him back to the rotation next year.

Boston might opt to send him to the Arizona Fall League because his inning count is only at 101. He could receive some more work in this fall and continue to mature against top minor league competition.



Gorkys Hernandez has an outside chance. He has appeared in 374 major league games, including 142 last year for the Giants.

The Sox could keep Hernandez under team control through 2021 if they add him to the 40-man roster before minor league free agency.

It seems unlikely the Red Sox would open a spot for former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia who has a 6.39 ERA in 432/3 innings.

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