The Philadelphia Phillies have announced that they will invite nine players to Spring Training with non-roster spots.
Andres Blanco – Infielder
Blanco has not played in the major leagues since 2011. In 2012, Blanco recorded a .235 batting average with 14 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, and 40 RBIs with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. His last year in the majors, with the Texas Rangers saw Blanco hit .224 with three doubles and two home runs in just 76 at-bats. The Phillies are likely looking for infield depth by bringing the veteran 29-year-old infielder to Spring Training.
Josh Fields – Infielder
In 2012, with the Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A affiliate, Fields hit .322/.392/.488 with 32 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs, and 71 RBIs. The 30-year-old minor league journeyman has played third base, second base, first base, right and left field. While he is older, he has seen limited major league time and could contribute at some point during the season if he gets a shot at a 40-man roster spot.
Cesar Jimenez – Left-Handed Pitcher
Jimenez is a 28-year old minor league journeyman. He has spent the last 10 years with the Seattle Mariners organization. He pitched in 23 games at the Triple-A Tacoma level last year. He posted an abysmal 5.75 ERA with a 2-2 record. He should fit right in with a bullpen that couldn't seem to play well at all last season.
Steven Lerud – Catcher
Everyone remembers the three games that Lerud played in last season. He was playing well at Double-A Reading when the Phillies purchased his contract to fill a depleted catching spot on the roster. Lerud is a career .221/.311/.353 hitter in the minors and will likely only contribute at the beginning of the season while Carlos Ruiz is serving his 25-game suspension.
Jermaine Mitchell – Outfield
Mitchell has been with the Oakland A's minor league system since 2006. At the age of 27, he is a .281/.380/.423 hitter with 131 doubles, 53 triples, and 55 home runs. Mitchell also shows good speed, having stolen 144 bases (15 in 2012). He probably won't make the roster with the addition of Ben Revere, but he could be called up to provide some speed off the bench when rosters expand to 40.
Michael Martinez – Infield/Outfield
Everyone who stops by this spot frequently has an idea of how I feel about Martinez. He split time between the big leagues and Triple-A Lehigh last season. For some reason, the Phillies kept bringing his .174 batting average back. I don't know if he'll make the club's roster this season, but I hope he doesn't. The only upside is Martinez's great flexibility on the diamond. He played third base, second base, short stop, right field, and center field in 34 starts last season.
Zach Miner – Righ-Handed Pitcher
The 30-year old minor league journeyman spent most of last season in the Detroit Tigers Triple-A affiliate's bullpen. He went 2-0 with two saves in 23 appearances. His ERA was only 2.50 and he probably won't fit in to our bullpen with a number that good. Of the nine listed here, I would say that Blanco and Miner have the best chance to make the team for opening day.
Pete Orr – Infielder
If you're a Phillies fan and don't know about Pete Orr yet, e-mail me. We can talk.
Oh, but just in case…Last year, with the big club, he hit .315 with five doubles, a triple, and seven RBIs with the Phillies.
Humberto Quintero – Catcher
Quintero couldn't seem to land a job last season as he bounced between the Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, and Milwaukee Brewers organizations throughout the year. As I mentioned before, with Ruiz serving a 25-game suspension, the Phils will be looking for a backup catcher. Quintero might just be that guy if he outplays Lerud at camp.
Tune in later this week as we continue to get ready for Spring Training…You'll just have to ignore the cold weather and think BASEBALL!
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