Dodgers Secure Pitching, Catching Depth With 40-man Additions Prior To Rule 5...

Dodgers Secure Pitching, Catching Depth With 40-man Additions Prior To Rule 5 Draft

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday the Los Angeles Dodgers added Chase De Jong, Kyle Farmer and Jacob Rhame to their 40-man roster to protect them from being selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft.

Farmer entered the season ranked the No. 17 prospect in the Dodgers’ farm system, De Jong was No. 23, and Rhame No. 29.

Farmer was a 2013 draftee, selected in the eighth round by the Dodgers. A shortstop in college, the Dodgers immediately moved him to catcher and he has made progress behind the plate, while also spending some time at third base.

This season was up and down for Farmer, as he missed time due to injuries. He did manage to produce a .718 on-base plus slugging percentage in 74 games with Double-A Tulsa.

With Farmer’s addition to the 40-man roster, he becomes the de facto third-string catcher heading into 2017. That could change as signings and trades occur, but for now, it’s probable that Farmer sees his first taste of Major League action next season.

De Jong was acquired, along with infielder Tim Locastro, from the Toronto Blue Jays in July 2015 for international slot money. The Dodgers had already blown well past their bonus pool and had no use of the slots, making the trade essentially something for nothing.

A Southern California native, De Jong posted a respectable 3.96 ERA after joining the organization. Then in 2016 he moved up a level and absolutely dominated.

De Jong posted a 2.86 ERA in 25 starts for the Drillers, winning Texas League Pitcher of the Year honors before earning a late-season promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The right-hander made one strong regular-season start there, but struggled in the playoffs, surrendering nine runs in 10 innings.

Since the Dodgers have an abundance of starting pitching dpeth, De Jong figures to open the 2017 season back in Triple-A. But with the Dodgers’ recent history of pitching injuries, there’s an outside chance the right-hander could make his Major League debut sometime next season.

Rhame was drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round in 2013. The hard-throwing right-hander moved steadily up the chain, pitching at each level of the Minors over the past four years.

In 2016, he spent the entire season with Oklahoma City, appearing in 54 games and yielding a 3.29 ERA in 63 innings while striking out 70 and recording seven saves.

While Rhame has yet to make his Major League league debut, he did appear in five Spring Training games this year. There is some uncertainty in the bullpen heading into the heart of the offseason, so Rhame could contend for a big-league relief job in the spring.

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