PHOENIX -- The state of the Dodgers' Minor League system is debatable, but it's hard to complain about the help the Major League club has received from the Double-A Chattanooga pitching staff.
On Saturday, Nathan Eovaldi became the fourth pitcher promoted directly from Double-A to the Dodgers this year, a jump that years ago was unthinkable and now has become commonplace.
Part of it is by design, as management tries to keep its best pitching prospects out of the altitude of Triple-A Albuquerque.
But part of it is the result of a Draft philosophy that tilts heavily toward big, hard-throwing pitchers, of which Eovaldi fits the profile.
Manager Don Mattingly, while not conceding that he's only looking toward next year, said these kids are the future and getting looks now can only be a good thing.
"It's a huge benefit," Mattingly said. "They get a chance to see the difference between the Minor Leagues and the Major Leagues. I know myself, I didn't know the difference. To experience it is kind of invaluable. Sometimes it's the little stuff, being around the guys, learning where to drop off your luggage, stuff you think should be no-brainers."
In addition to Eovaldi, Chattanooga has sent the Dodgers Javy Guerra, Rubby De La Rosa and Josh Lindblom. Among the pitchers still there are first-round picks Chris Withrow and Ethan Martin, starting prospect Allen Webster and reliever Shawn Tolleson, who as a Texas prepster was rated ahead of Clayton Kershaw as a prospect.