It may not look like it with the slush and snow on the ground but the calendar confirms that it is, in fact, February. February – the month of love, the month of presidents, and, most importantly, the month of pitchers and catchers. The Phillies are now under three weeks away from loading up the bats, balls, catching equipment, and more and heading down to Clearwater. Let’s take a look at some of the players you can expect to see in Spring Training that are not official members of the roster.
Who: Jeanmar Gomez
Age and position: 27 as of February 10, right-handed reliever
You may know him from: Five years as a Major League reliever including a successful two-year stint from 2013-2014 with the Pittsburgh Pirates
Chances of making the Phillies out of Spring Training: B+
Chances of making the Phillies in 2015: A
Anticipated 2015 starting level: Set-up man in Lehigh Valley or back-end of Phillies bullpen
Gomez reached the Majors at age 22 with the Cleveland Indians in 2010. Five years later, Gomez was the victim of a numbers crunch in Pittsburgh after two solid seasons with the Bucs. Gomez sits in the low 90s, high 80s with his fastball and usually sports a 10 MPH difference in his fastball and change-up.
Gomez has benefited in the last two seasons from a bit of luck, evident in his 4.37 FIP v. his 3.19 ERA from last season, but is serviceable enough to compete with Hector Neris, Nefi Ogando, and Luis Garcia for a role as a right-handed reliever. Working in Gomez’s favor is simple attrition: the Phillies used 26 pitchers in 2014 and 27 in 2013, including various position players. Injuries and young players not living up to expectations will work in Gomez’s favor and Gomez, barring injury, will absolutely see time with the Phillies in 2015 and has a solid chance to crack the Phillies’ bullpen out of Spring Training.