Have you been waiting for the team to release their spring training roster, because I have! With gritted teeth, we have been patient, hoping that there would be some inspired choices to participate in the smaller camp, younger guys getting their chances to test their mettle against the more advanced arms getting in shape.
Phillies have invited 12 non-roster invitees to attend major league camp.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 16, 2021
In addition, 19 players have been extended invitations to attend spring training mini-camp. pic.twitter.com/xlyuippf0g
Some names you know, like the non-roster guys we’ve been discussing this off-season as possible candidates to make the team (Kintzler, Feliz, Rondon). Others are some younger guys that are getting their first taste at a big league camp, even if it is just a mini-camp thanks to health and safety protocols (I see you, Johan Rojas).
And then there is Odubel.
I have nothing personal against Herrera. He committed an abhorrent act, seemingly has tried to make himself a better person and probably has learned from his crime. But there is no reason for him to be in Clearwater around the major league camp or the mini-camp. He’ll be a media distraction, he’ll siphon off at bats and defensive reps from others who could use them and, oh yeah, he’s not that good anymore. Maybe they’re showcasing him for other teams, who knows. It’s just a silly, unnecessary move all around.
Some of the positive notes are seeing the younger guys like Rojas, Erik Miller, and Bryson Stott headed down early before the other minor league players start (remember, players are having their arrivals staggered). After missing all of 2020, they’ll see some big league pitching, get big league coaching and be better off for it.