The Dodgers’ oft-ridiculed offseason strategy of acquiring depth looks increasingly smart in retrospect, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The Dodgers’ front office has taken flak for the better part of a year for acquiring large numbers of solid players rather than acquiring or retaining stars like Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke and Andrew Miller. But the team is currently just one game back in the NL West, and leads the NL Wild Card race, despite making a ridiculous 26 DL placements this year. The Dodgers have gotten solid contributions from somewhat lower-profile additions like Kenta Maeda, Chase Utley, Joe Blanton and Louis Coleman, not to mention players like Adam Liberatore, Grant Dayton, Andrew Toles and Josh Fields, who arrived in moves that were downright minor. Here’s more from the National League.
- The Phillies could promote outfield prospects Roman Quinn and Nick Williams, but are less likely to promote top prospect J.P. Crawford, CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury writes. Quinn is already on the team’s 40-man roster, while Williams must be added this offseason anyway in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Quinn has hit well this season for Double-A Reading (.297/.370/.420) and Williams has held his own at Triple-A Lehigh Valley (.281/.311/.462), so they could at least be September callups, although, as Salisbury notes, it will be difficult for the Phillies to balance playing time for Quinn, Williams, Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera, and several other outfield options. Crawford is more highly rated than Williams or Quinn (MLB.com ranks him the third-best prospect in all of baseball), but it will be tricky for the Phillies to promote Crawford before the end of the season, since they have a variety of prospects to protect on their 40-man roster this offseason and Crawford doesn’t need to be added.
- The Brewers have announced that a pair of prospects have inched closer to the minor leagues, with lefty Wei-Chung Wang moving from Double-A Biloxi to Triple-A Colorado Springs and righty Devin Williams heading from Class A Wisconsin to Class A+ Brevard County. Wang was only 20 and had never played above the Gulf Coast League when the Brewers selected him in the Rule 5 Draft in 2013. He predictably struggled in big-league action the next year and looked like he might become a cautionary tale about how the Rule 5 Draft can derail a player’s development if he isn’t ready for the big leagues. Since then, though, he has since worked his way back through the Brewers’ system to reestablish himself as a prospect, posting a 3.52 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 107 1/3 innings with Biloxi this season. The 21-year-old Williams, the Brewers’ first selection in the 2013 draft, posted a 3.61 ERA, 9.2 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 72 1/3 innings for Wisconsin.