Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Spring Training Press Release

The Phillies today invited 18 players (10 of them pitchers) to spring training this season. The 2006 Phillies roster still seems to have a few open spots (maybe a bench job, definitely in the bullpen) and could have even more if any one of the players the Phils have reportedly shopped (Bobby Abreu and Jason Michaels names pop up in trade rumors daily) are moved before opening day. Whether any of these guys will have an impact with the Phillies in 2006 remains to be seen, but the 18 guys invited to spring training all have, at the very least, a shot to make their marks.

RP's Ryan Cameron, Brian Sanches, and Travis Minix are three of the likelier candidates to seize jobs with the big club come spring. RP Aquilino Lopez might very well have the inside track at a job in the bullpen since he is the only one of the 18 guys mentioned to actually play for the Phillies in 2005. The bright futures of both SP Cole Hamels and SP Gio Gonzalez have been well documented though neither player will break camp with the Phils in '06. C Jason Jaramillo will be a big league player someday (like Hamels and Gonzalez, not in '06) as well. IF Joe Thurston was once a highly touted Dodger prospect (he had a monster 2002 in AAA) and, although he hasn't panned out exactly as expected, is still only 26 years old. Even OF Peter Bergeron (one-time Expos prospect who I still remember was once compared to a young Brett Butler) could wind up on the big club if the outfield is shaken up between now and then (Bergeron is still only 28 by the way).

Any one of these guys could, in theory, wind up as real life Phillies in 2006. I think at least one of the 4 relief pitchers mentioned (Cameron, Sanches, Minix, and Lopez) will come north to Philly to start the season and at least 2 will pitch for the Phils over the course of the year. Just a hunch though.


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