Let's take a peek at Triple-A Oklahoma City with the trade deadline approaching and the Los Angeles Dodgers likely prepping multiple moves to help shore up the MLB roster. Could LA get an in-house boost and have a good trade chip come Aug. 1?
Starting with Miguel Vargas, the Dodgers rookie who was recently optioned because of a lackluster showing with the big-league club, there are some positive results. He's picked up where he left off at OKC and has shown his bat just needs a bit more time to adjust before everyday MLB action.
Remember, before this season, the 23-year-old only had 113 games of experience at Triple-A. After four games there through Wednesday's action, he's 7-for-19 with six walks, a homer, four RBI, a stolen base, and just two strikeouts.
Maybe he's brought back up in a few weeks and the Dodgers get a "reinforcement" in the form of a reinvigorated version of Vargas? Not an ideal trade deadline "acquisition," but anything helps.
Right alongside Vargas is Dodgers top prospect Michael Busch, who continues to mash but didn't get an opportunity when Vargas was optioned. Is that because the Dodgers are trying to preserve his trade value?
Dodgers News: Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch at Triple-A, Jimmy Nelson rehab
Busch's 15 games with the Dodgers weren't exactly inspiring, but Triple-A pitching is no match for him. He launched another bomb on Tuesday night and is currently hitting .307/.428/.567 with 51 runs scored, 13 homers and 54 RBI in 60 games.
The Dodgers are preparing to buy at the deadline in some capacity, and protecting one of their top (yet expendable) assets is probably the best business decision. But what if he's not traded before Aug. 1? Is there a chance the Dodgers give him another shot with the big-league club down the stretch?
And then we have an old friend at OKC: Jimmy Nelson! The man is recession-proof. He finds a job with the Dodgers no matter his health, the economic climate, you name it. The last time he pitched in MLB was 2021, and he logged only 28 games. He's seen the field a total of 38 times since the start of 2018. But the Dodgers keep paying him and helping him along in the rehab process.
The right-hander has now seen four games of action at Triple-A and has yet to give up a run. He's allowed one hit and two walks while striking out five across 3.2 innings. To the dismay of many, he could very well be a trade deadline "addition" if all continues to go well with him.
Should've maybe traded for Aroldis Chapman when they had the chance? The bullpen's actually gotten its act together, but it hasn't had a long enough stretch to instill confidence for the rest of the way, especially for a playoff run.
Nelson, if serviceable. would be a great addition as one of the last arms out of the gate -- not one that should be emphasized in any capacity, though.