The El Paso Chihuahuas fell one game short of a repeat Pacific Coast League title, losing to the Memphis Redbirds Sunday night. Their postseason run was an exciting one, but the end of the AAA league’s season doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time for the players to pack up and go home. Many of the players on the Chihuahuas’ roster are likely to continue their campaign elsewhere, including some potential call-ups to the Major League Roster. Here’s a list of guys who might see some Major League service over the final two weeks of the season, as well as some notes on some guys headed elsewhere.
- Kyle Lloyd, RHP, made his Major League debut earlier this season, making a spot start shortly after the Trevor Cahill - Ryan Buchter - Brandon Maurer trade. He gave up four earned runs in four innings of work, and his twelve appearances with El Paso haven’t been much better, but an outstanding season in San Antonio may keep him on the roster through the offseason. He may be recalled to bolster a relatively thin pitching staff.
- Walker Lockett, RHP, is on the 40-man roster and was a pre-season dark horse candidate for a rotation turn at some point this season. His season has been slowed by injury and the only appearance he is likely to make in Petco Park would be in the “Padres On Deck” prospects showcases that the team will be playing on September 29th & 30th. He’s currently in Peoria working with the organization’s trainers and coaches with the impressive group of kids listed here, many of whom will come to Petco for the aforementioned “Padres On Deck” games.
- Tim Melville, RHP, was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins a little less than a month ago. He made five appearances for the Chihuahuas, initially as a starter but being deployed as a reliever in the playoffs. Since he’s on the 40-man roster, he may get an MLB look before the team decides his fate with the organization.
- Dusty Coleman, SS, spent a good chunk of time with the Padres this season as a fill-in for the injured Erick Aybar. While his power played up, his lack of contact ability and sub-par defense at a key post may make him a candidate for release.
- Jose Rondon, SS, has been rehabbing most of the season and failed to get his bat to come around for El Paso in their playoff run. While he might get recalled to finish the season with the Padres, he may also get another rehab assignment to begin his offseason.
- Ryan Schimpf, 2B/3B, couldn’t reproduce the statistical oddities that made him so intriguing last season, earning an option to El Paso. Across 242 at-bats in AAA, he slashed .202/.311/.475, which is worse than it looks considering the typically inflated numbers in the PCL. The air may have come out of this balloon and Schimpf may be a candidate for assignment.
- Christian Villanueva, 3B, was once a premium prospect for the Cubs but his early career was derailed by persistent injuries. He survived the 2017 AAA season in good health and produced a prodigious .296/.369/.528 line while showing the defensive acumen at third base that drew raves from scouts in years past. The “hot corner” is a thin position on the organizational depth chart, and early indications are that Villanueva will get a call-up as a reward for his fine season.
- Hunter Renfroe, RF, was optioned to El Paso on August 19th to deal with his flawed approach at the plate. All he’s done is hit a ridiculous .509/.557/.891 across 55 at-bats in AAA. Yeah, I don’t think he has anything left to prove there.
- Travis Jankowski, OF, spent most of the season on the disabled list after breaking his left foot with an unfortunately placed foul ball. He’s taken the slow path to recovery in El Paso but showed the contact, speed, and plate discipline that made him an intriguing player to start the season. He’ll likely join the Padres as a reserve bench player to close out the season.
- Franchy Cordero, CF, was impressive during his surprise MLB audition earlier this year. After being optioned back to AAA, he went on a tear, hitting .341/.376/.676 since their All-Star break. The toolsy 23-year-old certainly earned another call to the bigs.
The Padres season will close out on October 1st, and the squad has 13 games remaining on the docket. Expect to see some fresh faces on the roster this week as the team rolls toward the finish line.