Just over two weeks ’til Pitchers and Catchers report to Phillies spring training, there is little newsworthy to report, so as noted I will begin our look at the non-roster invitees, after a couple of brief updates.
On Tuesday the Phillies got a little bonus from adding Michael Saunders, who btw will be donning #5 (sorry Pat The Bat followers), as they traded RHP Severino Gonzalez to the Miami Marlins for a PTBNL or cash. I call this a bonus as Gonzalez had been DFA’D to make room for Saunders.
Senor Enero Freddy Galvis:
Freddy Galvis helped his Venezuelan Winter League team, Aguilas del Zulia, win their 1st title in 17 years. While he was a non factor in the regular season, .183 (11-for-60) 1HR, 4 RBIs, .570 OPS in 15 regular-season games, he stepped it up in the post season going .305 (18-for-59), 5 RBIs and a .766 OPS in 14 games.
Phillies Non-Roster Spring Training Invitees; The LHP Relievers:
There are no starters in this category so today we will focus on the two LHP relievers.
As I noted here when he was signed on a minor league deal by the Phillies back in mid-December, Burnett, 34, because they are very thin from the left side, will be in a tough competition. Joely Rodriguez is the only LHP reliever on the 40 man roster. As a result of the shortage of LHP, there has also been some talk of possibly moving Adam Morgan to the pen.
Burnett was 15-23 with a 3.52 ERA in 380 outings over nine seasons. Set back by two Tommy John surgeries, he has pitched just 16 Big League innings since 2012. He is not an overpowering pitcher as his best pitch is a sinker that over his career averaged just over 90, but in the upper 80’s his last few seasons. Even with the limited options for LHP reliever, Burnett will have to show he can get back to the stamina and consistency he showed out of the Washington Nationals bullpen.
Back in the Day Factoid: As a junior, he was the winning pitcher in the 1999 Florida State Championship Game for Wellington High.
Ramos, 32, was signed by the Phillies to a minor league deal in early January. He was released by the Texas Rangers in July after posting a lofty 6.04 ERA in 47.2 innings. The Detroit Tigers picked him up but he did not return to the Majors. In eight seasons, all in the AL, his career stats are 4.02 ERA, 346.2 IP, 1.399 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, 7.0 K/9, and 1.93 K/BB. His best pitch is his 4-seam FB which last season averaged 95.57, 329 pitches thrown.
Non-Sequitor Factoid: Cesar is a good golfer, who has a handicap below 10.
This may be one of the hottest competitions in camp, ultimately coming down to how many BP spots the Phillies want to use for a LHP. If Burnett can prove that he is back from his surgeries, I see him having a leg up on Ramos and Rodriguez. If they decide to keep two lefties, Ramos with a good spring, should stay, thus sending Rodriguez back to Lehigh Valley.
Still up in the air is the contract status of 2B Cesar Hernandez. We have not heard anything since they traded arby #’s back on Friday the 13th. An arby hearing could come sometime between today and 2/17. Also next week barring much more news than that I will cover the multitude of RHP non-roster guys invited to camp.
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