September call-ups not set in stone but Joe Maddon has his ideas

SAN DIEGO -- Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon says he hasn't had substantial discussions with the front office regarding September call-ups when rosters are allowed to expand to 40, but he does have an idea about what type of players he wants to join his first-place club.

"Maybe a speed guy," Maddon said Monday afternoon. "You want an extra catcher but we have three. That's a good number. Bullpen depth (as well)."

Maddon indicated players on the 40-man roster who have seen time with the Cubs already this season would be obvious choices. Candidates include outfielder Albert Almora along with infielders Jeimer Candelario, Munenori Kawasaki and of course Tommy La Stella. Lefty reliever Gerardo Concepcion could be back while non 40-man roster guys like righty Armando Rivero, newcomer Josh Collmenter and outfielder John Andreoli would need to be added. Andreoli could be that stolen base threat Maddon referenced as he's swiped 33 this season for Triple-A Iowa. Most important would be having enough arms to give his main relievers a break when needed.

"We can always look to augment the bullpen," Maddon said. "In a bad game you don't want to throw guys. Even in a good game you don't want to throw guys you don't want to throw."

Maddon referenced Sunday's blowout loss to the Colorado Rockies as an example of a contest in which he would have pulled more starters and used non-essential bullpen arms if it had been played in September. As is rookie Rob Zastryzny threw 2 2/3 innings on Sunday. The Cubs will use him and Felix Pena often until help arrives and they can get some arms back from the disabled list. Due to disabled list replacements, any player in the organization on Sept. 1, regardless of their 40-man status, is eligible for the postseason roster.