Lee, 23, was rated among the top 100 prospects by MLB.com, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2014 season. But he struggled in his first Triple-A season, going 7-13 with a 5.38 earned-run average. The abnormally thin air of Albuquerque, New Mexico might have contributed to Lee’s high contact rate (10.6 hits/9 innings) but could not fully explain his increased walk rate (3.2 walks/9 innings). Lee might benefit from a change of scenery in 2015, when the Dodgers will move their top affiliate to a more neutral park in Oklahoma City.
Reed, 24, had a 3.23 ERA in 23 starts for Double-A Chattanooga in 2014. The Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2011 (16th overall) finished the season with five starts at Albuquerque, where he allowed 26 earned runs in 21 ⅓ innings (a 10.97 ERA). He becomes the Dodgers’ only left-handed starting pitcher who is not expected to begin 2015 in the majors.
Schebler, 24, is coming off a strong season at Chattanooga, where he slashed .280/.365/.556 and led the Southern League in home runs (28) and extra-base hits (65). It was a worthy follow-up to Schebler’s breakout 2013 season in the high Single-A California League, when he became a middle-of-the-order presence at Rancho Cucamonga. The final act: An equally strong showing in the Arizona Fall League (.310/.352/.524), for which he was nominated for the league’s MVP award.
Coincidentally, Lee and Schebler were chosen as the Dodgers’ minor league pitcher and player of the year in 2013. Because they were drafted at age 18 and spent five years in the organization, they were Rule 5-eligible. Reed was drafted at age 21; players who are drafted at 19 or older are Rule 5-eligible after four seasons in the organization.
Also Thursday, the Chicago White Sox claimed left-handed pitcher Onelki Garcia off waivers. Garcia missed almost all of the 2014 season recovering from an elbow injury. In 2013, his first pro season after defecting from Cuba, Garcia climbed the minor-league ranks to appear in three games for the Dodgers. His command issues aside, Garcia projected to be a serviceable middle reliever when healthy.
The Dodgers have 39 players on their 40-man roster. Teams with 40 players on their roster are not allowed to participate in the Rule 5 draft, which will be held December 11 in San Diego.