Dodger Minor League Playoff Opportunities

We all know that the Dodgers are in the process of finishing the regular season with home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but many of the minor league teams are also in playoff contention. 6 of the 8 teams have legitimate playoff hopes, and two are almost certain.

 

AAA – OKC Dodgers – This is one of the teams that playoff hopes are quickly slipping away. They find themselves 9 games behind the Colorado Spring Sky Sox (Brewers), and 5 games away from elimination with 12 to play.  There are no wild card teams, so they are going to have to win the Division to get into the playoffs.  Chances do not look promising.  They will probably be eliminated by September 1 allowing players schedule for promotion to the ML team to arrive on September 1.  Their final game is September 4.

 

AA – Tulsa Drillers – They must win the 2nd half to qualify for the post season. The Drillers are perhaps the hottest team in the Texas League at this time is time.  They are currently on a 7 game winning streak, and now have the second best record of any Texas League team in the second half.  They are 1 game behind the Springfield Cardinals with 13 games to play.  They have 6 games against the Cardinals in those final 13 games.  What makes this team so formidable is perhaps one of the best starting pitching staffs in minor league baseball.  They are six deep, and are all pitching well right now:

 

Josh Sborz (outdueled Chase De Jong in a 7-1 victory last night).

Andrew Sopko

Mitchell White

Scott Barlow

Yadier Alvarez

Dennis Santana

 

I will take my chances with that rotation. I like their chances to make up that 1 game and move on to the playoffs.  Their final game is September 4.

 

A+ – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes – The Quakes are 1 game up on the Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies) in the 2nd half, with 12 to play.  They have 9 home games and 3 away.  If they hold off the JetHawks, they qualify as the 2nd half champion of the California League South.  If the JetHawks overtake the Quakes, Rancho will still qualify with the 2nd best overall record in the division.  They are 12 games better than the overall 3rd place team.  The Quakes seem destined for the playoffs.  With Jordan Sheffield having a great outing his last game out, the pitching along with Caleb Ferguson and Adam Bray seem to be in good shape.  I can also see Dustin May making the jump for the playoffs as Great Lakes does not look playoff bound.  Their final game is September 4.

 

A – Great Lakes Loons – The reigning Midwest League Champion Loons must come in 2nd for the 2nd half or have the third best overall record in the Midwest League Eastern to qualify.  They are 9 games out of 2nd place with 12 to play, so their best opportunity is to become the third best overall record in the division.  They are 5 games back at this time.  Their chances of repeating are not looking great right now.  Their final game is September 4.

 

Rookie – Ogden Raptors – The Raptors are tied with the Orem Owlz (Angels) for the 2nd half championship in the Pioneer League South, with 18 to play.  The Raptors can get to the playoffs by winning the 2nd half outright, or if the Owlz win both halves, they can get in with the next best overall record.  They still have 4 games against the Owls, and with a 6 game lead over the next best overall record, the Raptors are in good shape for a playoff berth.  They have the league’s best offense for Average, Slugging, and OPS, and #2 for OBP.  They are not as gifted on the mound, so they will probably have to club their way to the finish line.  Their final game is September 9.

 

Rookie – AZL Dodgers – The Dodgers are currently tied with the AZL White Sox in the Arizona League Central Division 2nd half, with 9 games to go, including two against that White Sox team.  There is a slight opportunity to sneak in if the Brewers make up a 3.5 game deficit in the 2nd half, and can win both halves.  If that happens, the Dodgers can get in with the 2nd best overall record, which they have a 7.5 game edge over the White Sox.  Their best chance is winning the 2nd half.  Their final game is September 2.

 

DSL – Dodgers 1 and Dodgers 2 – DSL1 is .5 game ahead of the DSL Red Sox in the Dominican Summer League Northwest Division. and DSL2 is 1 game behind the DSL Rangers1 in the Dominican Summer League North Division.  DSL2 has 4 games remaining, while DSL1 has 5 games remaining.  Their final game is August 26.  There are five Division champions that qualify for the playoffs, plus the best overall record of the remaining teams.  DSL1 would currently have that position; however their best opportunity remains winning the division.  The Dodgers do have a realistic chance of placing 2 teams in the DSL playoffs.

 

There are a number of individual Dodger minor leaguers who are in a position to obtain individual awards. I am keeping track of those and will report on them at the conclusion of the regular season.  It is also possible that some of the Dodger players will be selected as pitcher or player of the year in their respective leagues.  The first post-season award was just announced.  DJ Peters was named California League Player of the Year.  Caleb Ferguson and Ibandel Isabel also joined Peters as California League All-Stars.

Posted by Always Compete

This article has 24 Comments

  1. I can see OKC not in any play offs. There is no way they can get any consistency going when players are going up and down on a regular basis.

    1. Idahoal

      That is the first thing that came into my mind, about the AAA team.

      But since the front office has changed to making sure, our minor league teams, are more into developing our players, then just winning, we might not have teams in the minors, that are always at the top, of the league.

    1. Eric has always been high on Buehler (as have most minor league pundits). I am glad to see the minds changing on Yusniel Diaz. I really think he has a chance to make and stick with a big league team, maybe by 2020. His description of Heredia as a “freak” is pretty funny but accurate. The international guys are hard to peg because there is not much exposure in the foreign countries outside of team scouts. Once in awhile you get a Yoan Moncada that everybody has “heard” of, but very few really know. Heredia could be good, and could flame out. Eric is right, he needs to struggle the Midwest League, and learn to make adjustments. Gavin Lux has been doing that since the start of August.

  2. Thanks for the report AC, well done. Good to see DJ Peters get recognition, there will be others I’m sure. Fast risers get ignored when playing multiple levels in one season. The depth of the pitching really stands out to me.

    Tulsa has had a great season and the starting pitching talent is deep. Rancho has some real hitters emerging. The Rookie League teams and DL have all performed well. It is an overall really impressive showing this year!

    OKC being out of the playoffs leaves no reason not to call up Verdugo, Buehler, Farmer, Joc and a couple others on Sept 1st as you say. All the up and down guys who are on the 40 man roster already get called up too just for depth, like Thompson, Eibner and Dayton. Paredes is here now but not for long, he should be back. They will have to clear spots for Verdugo and Buehler . Ethier, Gutierrez, Liberatore and McCarthy are possibilities as well but 1st 3 would require more spots when coming off the 60 day DL. I see only Ethier as a possibility off the 60 Day DL.

    DFA candidates:
    Pitchers Castillo, Jankowski, and Ysla would clear the necessary 3 spots, 2 if Ethier is not activated.

    1. That is a picture of Chase De Jong, Trevor Oaks, and Scott Barlow, starting pitchers on that 2015 Rancho Cucamonga California League Championship team. I got the picture from a September 20, 2015 article in Think Blue LA by Ron Cervenka. The picture was actually provided to them courtesy of Chase De Jong. In addition to being a big Dodger fan overall, Ron is a huge Rancho Cucamonga Quakes fan, and attends a majority of their home games. Ron gets a lot of interviews with the players and managers/coaches. He is a very good source.

      1. AC, do you think Verdugo is coming up? The additions of Gonzalez and Granderson sure has made for a crowded lineup. The Dodgers will have Bellinger, Puig, Granderson, Taylor, Joc, Ethier possibly, and Kike all looking for AB’s in the OF and trying to keep their game sharp?

        So far the relief thing hasn’t looked good for Buehler. I’m kind of with Dustin Nosler when he’s thinks changing the routine of someone coming of TJ surgery doesn’t necessarily seem worth it. If he doesn’t turn it around, do you think they may just say let’s call it a successful season and shut him down.? The Dodgers would still have Stewart, Ravin, Paredes, McCarthy, and others to give the main bullpen pieces some rest. I would happily be wrong if becomes the next K-rod, but right now it seems unlikely.

        This front office has a history of not calling up everyone and sending some guys to AZ to stay sharp. I would think they don’t want to move Urias to the 60-day DL and get the clock ticking on service time.

        1. I think he will get the callup, especially if OKC is not in the playoffs, but last year, he flamed out in the AFL. This year he is hiting .320, but .256 since his All-Star Game. He is not hitting with much power and while he has a quick bat, I think the body is the issue. Alex needs to train harder, eat better and develop better habits.

          Maybe they won’t call him up, but I think it would be good from him to be around some of the players the Dodgers have on the team. The Utleys, Grandersons, Gonzo’s et al. Alex can be great, but he is lacking in the intangible dept.

          Buehler is not taking to the pen at all. Maybe they should put him back in the rotation the last two weeks and shut him down. It doesn’t appear to be working. Insofar as what is best for his arm: Who the hell knows? They babied Urias and he still had problems (by all accounts, he should be fine), so who knows? Some guys aren’t made to be relievers.

        2. This team roster can be unpredictable. I do not think anyone thought that Curtis Granderson was on the radar. Alex Verdugo has had a tremendous year, and is certainly worthy of getting a call. Often the team will bring up a player on the cusp of making the big league team just to experience the ML clubhouse, especially in a pennant race. There are a number of veterans that can provide examples as to how to act at that level. Verdugo has been questioned for his maturity, and perhaps a 30+ day dose of Chase Utley, Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, and JT might do wonders for Alex.
          .
          Walker Buehler could have his own veteran mentors in Kershaw, Hill, Darvish, and Jansen. I do think he gets called up, but I do not think he will counted on to become a staple in that bullpen. He will get some opportunities, but I doubt that it will be a showcase. He may even get a chance to start a game in the final week. I would like to see that.
          .
          I agree with your point about Urias not going on the 60 day DL. I do not think they have that same concern with Eibner, so I would anticipate Eibner going on the 60 day to make room for Ethier. Andre Ethier deserves the opportunity to end his Dodger career on the field. That leaves Fabio Castillo, Jordan Jankowski, and Luis Ysla as marginal 40 man roster players. It does not take into consideration any potential 40 man player being moved in the next 7-8 days. Trayce Thompson comes to mind. I would not expect it, but it is possible. There are multiple possible moves that will allow Verdugo, Buehler, and even Font to make the expanded roster on September 1. I would like to see all three get the call, and take our chances that Castillo, Jankowski, and Ysla all pass through waivers, as Dylan Floro did.

          1. Both of you guys made good points about being around the veterans. Mark, you’re right about babying Urias and still getting hurt. Al Leiter had a nice segment the other day about mechanics that pitchers should watch. I think they can baby guys or let horses throw like Ryan and Seaver did and it will all come back to mechanics.

  3. Interesting, Doc said on Rich Eisen’s show today that when healthy Bellinger is the team’s first baseman.

  4. Walker Buehler was named Dodger Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and Keibert Ruiz was named Dodger Minor League Player of the Year.

  5. A lot of runners LOB tonight, they are about to break through. Granderson is a good outfielder, really smooth. Taylor apparently is going to be the CF going forward, Joc has been playing LF in OKC. Joc is not hitting down there yet and striking out a lot. He will have to earn any playing time when he returns and has never been a good PH. AGon can still pick it at 1B though his range is not like Cody’s.

  6. Watford

    I hope your are watching this game, because I remember Hill was your favorite, on the Dodgers!

    1. MJ
      Just woken to see the score & read the report.
      That sucks – how unlucky can you get?
      9 runners stranded & even worse after getting the hook after 7 hit less last year!
      On a positive note, he seems to be peaking at the right time of year & a rotation of Kershaw, Darvish & Hill looks tasty for the post season, especially if Wood doesn’t recover.
      Hope you are good MJ.

      1. Watford

        I am kind of glad that you didn’t have to see that, because it was a shame, that that happened again, for Hill.

        It is hard to watch our team not being successful so many times, with runners in scoring position, and then losing like that!

        Like Roger said, Hill is getting sharply tuned, for the post season, and that is what is important!

        I also saw that they were going interview and talk to Hill on one of the Dodger’s shows, on Charter Spectrum on the Dodger channel, and this was before last night’s game.

        So you might try to look that up on line.

        If I do get further details on the show, I will post them for you!

        I hope you are ok, and continuing to enjoy this year’s team too, take care!

  7. Hill had 7 perfect innings last year and Doc took him out.

    Now he has 8!

    He’s a bum! He shouldn’t be in the playoff rotation.

    1. That was a terrible ending!

      Josh Harrison felt the fact that Hill had to go in the stretch in that ninth inning, kind of throw his timing off, for the tenth.

      But our team’s offense has helped Hill when he wasn’t pitching well, at times too.

      But at least the next game is going to be here very soon, so we can forget about this game.

  8. Tell you what, screw the win, Hill is back!! If he can pitch like this in the play-offs we are golden. I know for sure alot of guys in the lineup tonight are pissed at themselves. We will put some crooked numbers up tomorrow, bet on that. The vets are ticked.

  9. That sucked. Feel terrible for Rich considering Doc yanked him last year when he had an opportunity. Twice Forsythe got robbed of hits that would have scored runs too. He would have had to go 11 to get it. It wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world to pull him considering he would have had to go 11, but I’m sure what happened last year what considered. Damn.

  10. Loved Hills game last night. It really sucked that we could just push one run across for him and all his good efforts.

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