Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Spring Training 57 (+1): Where They Went

2012 Topps Heritage #29
It's Opening Day Eve, one of the most magical nights of the year.  The Phillies have set their 25-man roster and they're preparing to play the Pirates tomorrow afternoon in Pittsburgh.  One of the bigger surprises when the final roster was announced late last night was the inclusion of lefty reliever Joe Savery.  The only 2011 baseball card I have of Savery, lists his position as "1B/LHP," which is not an error.  As summarized today in David Hale's Philled In blog post:

"The story of Joe Savery is nothing short of amazing. A year ago, he was trying to make it as a first baseman/DH in Class A ball, having given up on pitching after two straight disastrous minor-league seasons.
Suddenly, Savery’s arm began feeling better, he got back on the mound and was throwing better, and by year’s end he was in the big leagues. 
Odds are that when Jose Contreras comes off the DL (he’s eligible April 10), Savery could be the guy shipped out, but at this point the 26-year-old lefty has established himself as a big-league pitcher, and that’s borderline astonishing."
Astonishing is right. Savery is featured on a few multi-player Rookie Stars in this year's Topps Heritage set, including the card I've posted here.  He shares this card with teammate and disabled list-bound Justin De Fratus.

The other slight surprise was that Pete Orr beat out Hector Luna for the final infielder spot on the roster.  Although Luna had a nice spring with his bat, leading the team with three home runs, Orr just offers more in terms of defense and speed on the basepaths.

So the Phils are down to their 25-man roster, but what happened to the other 32 guys who broke camp with the team back on February 18th?  I'm glad you asked:

2012 Topps Heritage #32
Disabled List (5):  Pitchers Contreras and De Fratus; Infielders Ryan Howard, Michael Martinez and Chase Utley

Released (2):  Pitchers Dontrelle Willis and Joel Pineiro

AAA - Lehigh Valley IronPigs (18):  Pitchers Phillippe Aumont, Dave Bush, Jake Diekman, Scott Elarton, Jeremy Horst, Austin Hyatt, Pat Misch, David Purcey, Brian Sanches, Michael Schwimer and Raul Valdes; Catchers Tuffy Gosewisch and Erik Kratz; Infielders Kevin Frandsen and Luna; Outfielders Domonic Brown, Lou Montanez and Scott Podsednik

AA - Reading Phillies (7):  Pitchers J.C. Ramirez and B.J. Rosenberg; Catchers Steven Lerud and Sebastian Valle; Infielders Harold Garcia and Cesar Hernandez; Outfielder Tyson Gillies

Infielder Tim Kennelly, who was added to the roster half-way through Spring Training, will also start the season in Reading.

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