Friday, December 2, 2011

Non-Roster Invitees - The First 8

2007 Topps Heritage #474, 2011 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs Series 2 #13 and #23,
2011 Multi-Ad Reading Phillies #13
Earlier this week, the Phillies announced they had signed eight minor league free agents and given them invitations to Spring Training.  A few of the faces who will be wearing red pinstripes and numbers in the 60’s are very familiar to the organization.  Here’s a quick look at the eight along with their last known cardboard appearances.

Player (position) – 2011 Organization – Last Major Cardboard Appearance
1.  Scott Elarton (rhp) – Out of baseball – 2007 Upper Deck #132 (Royals)
2.  Pat Misch (lhp) – Mets – 2010 Upper Deck #338 (Mets)
3.  Brian Sanches (rhp) – Marlins – 2007 Topps Heritage #474 (Phillies)
4.  Raul Valdes (lhp) – Cardinals/Yankees – 2006 Bowman Prospects #B90 (Cubs)

The long-shot here is Elarton.  He’s attempting a comeback after sitting out the entire 2011 season.  Elarton last pitched in the Majors in 2008 with the Indians and he was the first-round draft pick of the Astros back in 2004.  His best season by far was back in 2000 when he won 17 games for the Astros.  Sanches is no stranger to the organization, having pitched in 30 games with the Phils in 2006 and 2007.  He developed into a steady middle inning reliever with the Marlins over the past three seasons.  Misch and Valdes are lefties, which of course means they’ll get long looks during the spring to see if they can be this year’s J.C. Romero or Mike Zagurski or even Juan Perez.

5.  Kevin Frandsen (inf) – Phillies – 2010 Upper Deck #431 (Giants)
6.  Tuffy Gosewisch (c) – Phillies – Only minor league cards so far for Tuffy
7.  Pete Orr (inf) – Phillies – 2008 Topps Update #UH72 (Nationals)
8.  Scott Podsednik (of) – Blue Jays/Phillies – 2010 Topps Update #US226 (Dodgers)

Podsednik missed most of last year while he recovered from a foot injury.  He was the National League stolen base champ in 2004 and won a ring with the White Sox in 2005.  Orr and Frandsen spent all of 2011 in the Phillies system, and both will be back to provide minor league depth in 2012.  Gosewisch is becoming somewhat of a non-roster invitee regular, as this will be his fourth Spring Training with the big club in Clearwater.  He’s currently fourth on the catching depth chart behind Carlos Ruiz, Brian Schneider and Erik Kratz.

Random thought:  "Non-Roster Invitees" would make an awesome band name.

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