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Padres won't pass over promotions this time

In 2016, San Diego kept core group in El Paso for playoffs
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- A year ago, when the Padres' Triple-A affiliate in El Paso reached the Pacific Coast League playoffs, the club made a conscious decision: Top prospects Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot and Carlos Asuaje would remain with the Chihuahuas through the duration of their playoff run.

On Sunday night, El Paso clinched yet another playoff spot, reeling off eight wins in nine games to earn its third straight division title.

Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- A year ago, when the Padres' Triple-A affiliate in El Paso reached the Pacific Coast League playoffs, the club made a conscious decision: Top prospects Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot and Carlos Asuaje would remain with the Chihuahuas through the duration of their playoff run.

On Sunday night, El Paso clinched yet another playoff spot, reeling off eight wins in nine games to earn its third straight division title.

Full Game Coverage

With big league rosters having already expanded, the Padres will not employ the same tact as last year. Should a big league need arise, they won't hesitate to dip into their affiliates' rosters. Thing is, they're content with the squad they have in San Diego.

"We're going to play it day-by-day," said Padres manager Andy Green. "I don't think we hold the mentality that we held last year that this a core group of guys that needs the experience of winning together. We obviously want them to win. We're pulling for them every day. But we're not looking at four guys that we feel need to have that experience."

Among the likeliest callups are shortstop Dusty Coleman and outfielders Travis Jankowski and Renfroe. But the Padres are certainly deep enough at both spots right now.

"If we feel like if there's a need here, we'll probably get guys here sooner rather than later in that case," Green said. "Where we are right now though, I think we like the idea that everybody's playing. If you bring three more outfielders to the big league level, that means three guys are sitting every day."

Jankowski missed most of the season with a broken bone in his right foot, and he's batting .266/.350/.317 in 35 games for El Paso. Renfroe, meanwhile, was demoted two weeks ago after struggling for much of the second half. The reigning Pacific Coast League MVP, Renfroe is batting .500/.550/.870 in 13 games since joining the team.

El Paso is one of three Padres affiliates to clinch a playoff berth, joining Double-A San Antonio and Class A Fort Wayne. It's an exciting prospect for the organization, which owns the third best farm system in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.

"We're excited about the youth and the talent," Green said. "It's across the board right now. It's mostly down in the lower levels, but it's coming."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

San Diego Padres