First batch of September call-ups includes Giambi

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Teams will be calling up players throughout the day as rosters expand to 40 spots, so keep an eye on Rotoworld’s player news page for all the latest transactions.
Along with the Brewers bringing back J.J. Hardy once his service time was sufficiently suppressed, here are some of the other noteworthy early moves:
* As expected, Jason Giambi has joined the Rockies’ bench after signing a minor-league contract last week. He went 8-for-18 with two homers in a brief stay at Triple-A and will fill the same pinch-hitting role that the Dodgers have in store for Jim Thome.
* Tim Hudson was activated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his season debut tonight against the Marlins, facing big-league hitters for the first time since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery 12 months ago.
* Brandon Wood is back with the Angels and will no doubt take his usual seat on the bench after hitting .293/.353/.557 with 22 homers in 99 games at Triple-A. He’ll be joined by homerless wonder Reggie Willits and catcher Bobby Wilson, who reportedly might end up as the player to be named later in the Scott Kazmir trade.
* Speaking Kazmir, his old rotation spot in Tampa Bay now belongs to Andy Sonnanstine, who’s back with the Rays after a two-month demotion to Triple-A. Sonnanstine had a 6.61 ERA in 15 starts with the Rays and then posted a 4.40 ERA in nine starts at Durham, so things could get ugly tonight against the Red Sox.
* Acquired from the Orioles for a PTBNL or cash last week, Joey Gathright will be the Red Sox’s pinch-runner and defensive replacement down the stretch. Gathright isn’t much of a hitter with a career .262/.327/.303 line, but he’s one of the fastest players in baseball, has tons of range in the outfield, and will prove to be a major asset if the Red Sox ever need someone to jump over a car.

Pete Mackanin on Phillies’ bullpen: “Somebody else has to [bleeping] step up.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 15: Manager Pete Mackanin #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies makes a pitching change in the eighth inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park on June 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Blue Jays won 7-2. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.

The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.

Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:

Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.

The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97.  Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.

In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.

Report: White Sox will offer Robin Ventura a new contract if he wants to return

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 04: Manager Robin Ventura #23 of the Chicago White Sox in the dugout before the game against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field on October 4, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.

Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.

The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.