Monday, September 22, 2014
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Roster Primer: The Invitees

It's almost here. Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Fla., next week. Until then, we are counting down the days at The Phillies Zone by breaking down the roster. So get reacquainted or learn about the 61 players in camp.

Roster Primer: The Invitees

It's almost here. Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Fla., next week. Until then, we are counting down the days at The Phillies Zone by breaking down the roster. So get reacquainted or learn about the 61 players in camp.

First up are the 20 non-roster invitees, with 2013 opening-day age in parenthesis:

PITCHERS (9)

RHP Aaron Cook (34) — He struck out 20 and walked 21 in 94 innings for Boston. Bizarre season.

RHP Juan Cruz (34) — The righty refused to pitch in the minors last summer and Pittsburgh released him despite decent numbers.

RHP Justin Friend (26) — He dominated double-A Reading (0.23 ERA in 39 2/3 innings) but not so much at triple-A Lehigh Valley. Friend turns 27 in June.

LHP Cesar Jimenez (28) — He has pitched in eight major-league games since 2008 and posted a 5.75 ERA at triple A in 2012. Teach your children to throw lefthanded.

RHP Rodrigo Lopez (37) — Once replaced by Pedro Martinez in the Phillies rotation, the journeyman is back for more.

RHP Zach Miner (31) — This spring’s reclamation project has not pitched in the majors since 2009 and walked more than he struck out at triple A.

LHP Adam Morgan (23) — A rising prospect who finished 2012 three levels ahead of where he ended 2011. Scouts rave about his strong repertoire.

RHP J.C. Ramirez (24) — The other 29 teams in baseball passed on a waiver claim, which says enough about this former prospect once acquired for Cliff Lee.

RHP Kyle Simon (22) — The Phillies had little leverage in trading Jim Thome, but they may have landed a real relief arm in Simon.

CATCHERS (3) 

C Tommy Joseph (21) — The most interesting minor-league drama: How will the Phillies find enough playing time for their young catchers?

C Steven Lerud (28) — The kind of guy who will go anywhere if asked. That earned him 10 major-league at-bats in a pinch last September.

C Humberto Quintero (33) — He was issued a low number (12) which is always a good sign for a non-roster player. The 10-year veteran had a fine showing in winter ball.

INFIELDERS (6)

3B Cody Asche (22) — A strong spring could earn him a trip to triple-A Lehigh Valley in April. Expect the Phillies to be aggressive with Asche.

SS Yuniesky Betancourt (31) — No player with at least 1,400 plate appearances in the last three seasons has made more outs than Betancourt (.275 OBP).

SS Andres Blanco (28) — Signed late last spring for depth, Blanco spent all of 2012 as Lehigh Valley’s shortstop. He could be limited by injury this spring.

3B Josh Fields (30) — The former first-round pick was once a top prospect and budding White Sox rookie. Now he is attempting to salvage a lost career.

UTIL Michael Martinez (30) — The whipping boy of a fan base, Martinez is probably ticketed to life as an IronPig.

UTIL Pete Orr (33) — If he could play shortstop, he’d be an ideal utility guy. Hard to find fault in a .315/.327/.444 line over 57 plate appearances. 

OUTFIELDERS (2)

OF Joe Mather (30) — The sad-sack Cubs gave Mather 243 plate appearances last season. He played six positions and even pitched.

OF Jermaine Mitchell (28) — There is a lot to like about Mitchell (career .380 OBP in minors) but his numbers were pedestrian during his first full triple-A season.


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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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