The first official workout for Phillies pitchers and catchers is scheduled for Wednesday in Clearwater and the team is busy making a few additions to their non-roster invitee list.
The team announced Monday that they have signed left-handed outfielder Travis Jankowski to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. Jankowski, 29, spent the last season with the Cincinnati Reds after spending five seasons with the San Diego Padres, going 1-for-15 in a limited number of at-bats in 2020. He holds a career slash line of .238/.315/.318 in 884 at-bats in the big leagues.
Jankowski was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and is a 2009 graduate of Lancaster Catholic High School.
Much of his upside lies in his speed and glove. He can play all three outfield positions and has been worth 16 outs above average throughout his career. Cracking the 40-man roster will be a tall task for any non-roster invitee in camp, but Jankowski will surely get an opportunity to impress in spring training.
This year, spring training non-roster invitees matter more than they ever had. The league’s new health and safety protocols allow for teams to add non-40-man roster players to the active list temporarily in the event a COVID-19 outbreak hits a team. Players who are added to the 40-man roster to take the place of someone who is out due to COVID protocols do not have to clear waivers to stay in an organization once they are taken off the 40-man roster. Last season, players who were placed on the COVID IL were temporarily taken off the 40-man roster, but any player who was added to the roster to replace the player was still subject to waivers.
Non-roster invitees with major league experience that stick around to play in Triple-A could be called upon if contact tracing or positive tests keep certain players on the active roster out for a period of time.
Last week, Dave Dombrowski announced that the team has signed outfielder Matt Joyce to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. The team is also reportedly close to signing Brad Miller to a major-league deal.
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