It is perhaps a good sign for the Phillies that few of the 10 players they signed Wednesday to minor-league contracts will enter spring training with little more than an outside chance to make the club.
The Phillies brought back infielder Pedro Florimon, righthander Pedro Beato, catcher Logan Moore, and infielder Mitch Walding. They signed catcher Eric Fryer, righthander Steve Geltz, catcher/first baseman/outfielder Matt McBride, infielders Will Middlebrooks and Heiker Meneses, and outfielder Danny Ortiz.
The players will be joined in camp by a 40-man roster that consists of 35 players who played in the majors last season. It could be difficult to find room for new faces come Opening Day.
Florimon, whose season ended last September when he broke his ankle when stepping on first base, has a chance to make the team as a utility infielder. His top competition seems to be Jesmuel Valentin, who is expected to be ready for spring training after undergoing left shoulder surgery last May. Geltz, 30, spent last season with the Dodgers’ triple-A team and could make the team as the Phillies seem poised to carry an eight-man bullpen. He had a 2.67 ERA last season in 23 games with 29 strikeouts in 27 innings.
Beato will likely return to triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he had success last season as the IronPigs closer. Beato reached the Phillies in July but his first major-league appearance in three seasons ended after 10 pitches due to a hamstring injury. Moore, 27, has spent parts of the last two seasons at Lehigh Valley. Walding, 25, batted .236 with 25 homers last season at double-A Reading.
Middlebrooks won a World Series in 2013 with Boston and has spent the majority of the last two seasons in triple A. He batted .258 with a .327 on-base percentage last season with Texas’ triple-A affiliate.
Fryer, 32, caught 26 games last season for St. Louis after making the team out of spring training as their backup catcher. McBride is from Bethlehem, Pa. and went to Lehigh University. The 32-year-old spent last season with Oakland’s triple-A affiliate, batting .231 in 79 games.
Meneses, 26, has spent the last 10 seasons in the minor leagues. He batted .291 last season with a .317 on-base percentage in 68 games with Boston’s triple-A affiliate. Ortiz made his major-league debut last season with Pittsburgh but spent most of the season in triple A, where he batted .270 in 110 games.