It's been a big week for minor leaguers in the NL West, but most notably in the Dodgers organization, where a much-needed arm is getting ready to return to the majors.
Brock Stewart made his return on Friday when he was recalled to the Dodgers from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The move gives the Dodgers a guy who can pitch more than one inning out of the pen, which will be more than helpful as the team inches towards the playoffs. Stewart has also started a few games this season, none of which have gone particularly swimmingly. Perhaps Stewart can carve a niche in the pen for himself.
Here's what else is happening around the National League West:
With the way he's pitching in Triple-A, you have to wonder if the Giants are toying with the idea of calling Joe Nathan up for their playoff run. Nathan is 41 years old, with playoff experience that might attract the guys at the major league level. The rosters will expand on September 1st, so the question is whether or not Nathan is on the team's radar. It would be a great story to see Nathan pitching for the team that drafted him in 1995.
The Rockies are calling up Stephen Cardullo. The first baseman (and occasional outfielder) has traveled a long road to this point, spending six years in the minor leagues, and even playing in two independent leagues (Independent and Can-Am). Cardullo has put together a solid stint with Triple-A Albuquerque, and figures to compete for a roster spot next spring. He's getting on the older side for a rookie, so how can you not root for Cardullo?
AJ Pollack is back. The Diamondbacks optioned outfielder Mitch Haniger to Triple-A Reno to make room for Pollack, who returns following a 60-day DL stint due to an elbow injury he re-aggravated. Pollack was an All-Star a year ago, and is a proven producer at the plate. If Pollack can increase his power, I could see him and Paul Goldschmidt becoming one of the better 3-4 tandems in baseball, which would be so helpful for the D-Backs, who really don't have an identity at this point.
There's a lot of buzz in San Diego, as the Padres faithful await the arrival of Hunter Renfroe, who is tearing it up right now at Triple-A El Paso. Check out the link above for the statistics, but Renfroe's biggest asset might just be the Padres' current positioning in the standings. With a month to go and the Padres out of contention, Renfroe can use this month to solidify his case as a starter in 2017.