Yesterday, we previewed the non-roster invitees who play the infield. Before that, we looked at the outfielders and catchers. Pete Orr, for the second consecutive season, is the clubhouse favorite among the infielders, while Jermaine Mitchell is a long shot but paces the outfielders. Humberto Quintero will likely start the year as Erik Kratz‘s back-up, having the best shot among any non-rostered position player to crack the roster for Opening Day.
Today, we will take a look at a tough group to predict: relievers. The qualifications for the group we’re looking at are as follows: the non-roster invitee in question must have served primarily as a reliever during last season. The Phillies used 17 pitchers in relief last year, not including Joe Blanton‘s early Pittsburgh bullpen cameo, meaning 11 players not on the Opening Day roster pitched in relief in 2012. The Phillies have 14 relievers on their 40 man right now meaning that if the Phillies use pitchers at the same rate as last season, three of the players listed below may see some time in the Majors in 2013.
Cruz put together a very effective season in 2012 for the Pirates (2.78 ERA, 8.3 K/9 IP) before being abruptly released in August as the Pirates season spiraled out of control. Out of control may be the perfect phrase to describe Cruz, as, despite his low ERA, Cruz posted a 1.626 WHIP and a 4.8 BB/9 IP. Cruz has always struggled with control but has occasionally dominated righties, pitching to a career to a career .230 BAA. The question then is: can Charlie Manuel resist the temptation to pitch Cruz against only righties if on the roster? If his treatment of lefty J.C. Romero is any indication, no.
2013 Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Relievers
Phillies Nation | Feb 6