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19 Non-Roster Players Invited To Spring Training

The Phillies have announced 19 non-roster players to join the club in Clearwater for Spring Training.

Who gets the call?

Per the Morning Call, here’s the list:

  • Carlos Carrasco, right-handed pitcher
  • Mike Cervenek, first baseman
  • Ron Chiavacci, right-handed pitcher
  • Vic Darensbourg, left-handed pitcher
  • Jason Donald, shortstop
  • Greg Golson, outfielder
  • Tuffy Gosewisch, catcher
  • Tim Gradoville, catcher
  • Paul Hoover, catcher
  • Brennan King, third baseman
  • Gary Knotts, right-handed pitcher
  • Lou Marson, catcher
  • Brian Mazone, left-handed pitcher
  • Josh Outman, left-handed pitcher
  • Valentino Pascucci, outfielder/first baseman
  • Joe Savery, left-handed pitcher
  • Casey Smith, infielder
  • Andy Tracy, first baseman/third baseman
  • Brandon Watson, outfielder

Of these names, the prospects are Carrasco (Phils No. 1), Donald, Golson, King, Marson, Mazone, Outman and Savery. The most logical choices to make the big leagues out of the gate would have to be Darensbourg and Watson.

The former is a 37-year-old journeyman who went 1-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 22 games for Detroit in 2005. He had a 9/7 SO/BB ratio. Last year for AAA Toledo, he went 6-2 with a 1.72 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 50 games and 52.1 IP. The lefty could definitely see time as the team’s LOOGY, possibly fighting with Shane Youmans for that spot.

The latter, Watson, is a speedster with a nice swing. The 26-year-old centerfielder is going to be the new Michael Bourn. In limited action with the Nationals, he went 5/18 with a double and two ribbies, stealing a base. With the Phils thin outfield corps (for now), Watson looks like a strong option to see some time in Philly this season. At the very least, I’d put him above Roberson on the depth chart.

The most intriguing name on this list is Savery, the Phils 2007 first round pick. Savery has pitched well since signing, especially during his time in the Arizona Fall League. I suspect a stint in Clearwater will determine how the Phils place him for 2008. He could very well stay in Florida and start the year in high-A. If that’s the case, a mid-2009 MLB debut could be in the cards for the former Rice University star.

One final observation is the plethora of non-roster catchers reporting. The big league club has Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste, with AAA-worthy Jason Jaramillo waiting in the wings. (One can’t forget Pete LaForest, but I will.) It’s likely whoever wins out on the catching battle (save for Marson, who will start the year in AA), may be the emergency third/fourth catcher in 2008.

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