Here’s a recap of some of the recent Phillies news.
A few weeks ago, former Pirates’ left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (who turned 36 today) agreed to a minor league contract with the Phillies. Rodriguez (formerly Eny Cabreja), made the Pirates’ opening day roster in 2014 and started 6 games (0-2, 6.75) before being sent to their AA affiliate in Altoona for the rest of the season. This past week, Rodriguez became this season’s Chad Gaudin when he failed his physical. Subsequently, he signed a $2M deal with Atlanta.
This week, Pirates’ right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (26) signed a minor league contract with the Phillies that included an invitation to Spring Training. Gomez made 44 appearances out of the Pirates bullpen in 2014. He made 8 starts among his 34 appearances in 2013. Gomez spent all but one week on the Pirates major league roster the past 2 seasons.
The Phillies claimed left-handed hitting outfielder Jordan Danks (28) off waivers from the Chicago White Sox. Danks is able to play all 3 outfield positions. Over half of his major league starts have been in center fielder. He has spent parts of the past 3 seasons on the major league roster. This action is notable because it brings the 40 man roster up to 40 men.
Aaron Nola was invited to attend major league spring training. The non-roster invitees now number 18 – pitchers: Paul Clemens, Jeanmar Gomez, Nola, Sean O’Sullivan, Kevin Slowey; catchers: Rene Garcia, John Hester, Koyie Hill; infielders: Andres Blanco, Russ Canzler, Chase d’Arnaud, Chris McGuiness, Chris Nelson, Cord Phelps; outfielders: Jeff Francoeur, Darin Mastroianni, Xavier Paul, and Brian Bogusevic.
A group of ten young players attended the Phillies Prospects Program in Philadelphia this week. The group included Aaron Nola, JP Crawford, Roman Quinn, Severino Gonzalez, Neifi Ogando, Cameron Perkins, Tim Windle, Zach Eflin, Joely Rodriguez, and Ben Lively. Hector Neris was scheduled to be a part of the group but was still pitching in winter ball. Lively was added in his place.
The Phillies entered the off season with 4 players entering arbitration. They reached an early agreement with Cesar Jimenez back on October 23rd (probably just above league minimum). They avoided arbitration with Antonio Bastardo when they traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joely Rodriguez. Bastardo and the Pirates came to a $3.1M agreement. This week they avoided arbitration altogether when the reached agreements with Ben Revere for $4.1M and Domonic Brown for $2.5M.
And in Clearwater, the new scoreboard at Bright House Field remains under construction. It doesn’t appear that much work has been completed since the old scoreboard was removed. Phantasy Week starts this week. A sign of the times could be the $12 charge for a ticket to the first “spring training” game against the University of Tampa on March 1st. In 2012, the Phillies opened with a game against Florida State. There was no charge to attend that game. In 2013 and 2014, the college game was replaced with an intrasquad game that was open to the public for free. Another interesting fact is the availability of tickets for the Tampa Bay game on St. Patty’s Day. Historically, the March 17th game has been among the toughest tickets to acquire. And the Rays draw better than most other visiting teams at Bright House. As of this morning, there are still over 1,800 tickets available.