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: Paul Clemens
Age and position: 27 as of February 14, right-handed reliever
You may know him from: Stints as a right-handed reliever in 2013 and 2014 with the Houston Astros
Chances of making the Phillies out of Spring Training: D
Chances of making the Phillies in 2015: C+
Anticipated 2015 starting level: Starter at Lehigh Valley
Clemens, who will turn 27 on Valentine’s Day, was a seventh-round pick of the Braves in 2008. The Astros had high hope for Clemens after acquiring him as part of the July 31, 2011 Michael Bourn deal. Clemens was a starting pitcher almost exclusively until cracking the Astros roster in 2013 who averaged about a strikeout per inning pitched. As Clemens climbed the ranks of the minors, he lost a bit of his control and began to give up more homers.
In 2013 and 2014, Clemens spent chunks of time in the Majors and struggled in 48 appearances. Clemens has a 5.51 ERA and 5.81 FIP in the Majors and his propensity to surrender the long ball, 1.9 HR/9 IP, has him on the fringes of the Major Leagues.
Clemens faces an up-hill battle to crack the Phillies in 2015 and will need significant help via injury or trades. Clemens will likely go deep into camp with the Phillies and should fit well in Lehigh Valley’s rotation.