Nine potential Phillies were sent blue and maroon spring training invitations this week, meaning another fourth string infielder contest for Pete Orr and Michael Martinez. Narratives!
Michael Martinez, IF
I’m sure you were very happy to get you invite in the mail. In all honesty, we thought you and your jaw-droppingly poor statistics were off the list after the Phillies renovated the 40-man roster this fall. But, here we are.
**drums finger on desk**
Anybody quintuple-check Utley’s knees this afternoon? No? “No one does that?” Well, that’s horrible news.
BONUS: Did you know that Michael Martinez’s age is 30?
Humberto Quintero, C
Replacement Chooch, this is everyone. Everyone, Replacement Chooch. He’ll most likely be backing up Erik Kratz while Chooch is at home, watching Phillies games on the TV and clenching a bat in his mighty Panamanian hands until it shatters into splinter.
Quintero has spent much of his career scraping against the fringes of various systems, breaking through to the Major League level, only to find himself promoted or DFA’d within months.
“This time, it’ll be different,” Humberto said, signing a contract to fill in for Erik Kratz while he fills in for Carlos Ruiz for 25 games.
Steven Lerud, C
And then, there is Steven Lerud, who, based on performance, could slide right into that coveted 25-game gig behind Kratz. That’s what the preseason is for! It’s also for finding out what’s wrong with Chase this time. Seriously, somebody just cruise by his house or something. Make sure he’s in the front yard fielding grounders with like 20+ dogs like normal.
Steven made his MLB debut this year, on August 30, when the Phillies needed to go deeper into their catching depth than they ever have before. He had two hits in 10 plate appearances, scoring a run, and generally not offering enough of anything to be measured in a reasonable way. He’s been in the minors since 2004, compiling over 2500 plate appearances and a batting average tipping woefully over the Mendoza Line. Which offers somewhat of a better view.
Pete Orr, Pete Orr
You all know, Pete. Not introductions necessary.
If anything, the inclusion of such ready made infielding depth like Martinez and Orr means that the Phillies seem pretty ready to keep things platooned. Third base, though now with a Michael Young to play it, may still be a question mark, and having a stable of warm bodies–Galvis, Frandsen, Martinez, and Orr–to man it is wise, or questionable, if you’re not sure that Young is a liability yet (he is).
Or it could be an indication that the front office is just as paranoid about Utley’s knees as a guy on the internet demanding someone go to his house to check on him.
Jermaine Mitchell, OF
Well hey there, new guy, with your fresh blood and your never fulfilled fifth round pick-itude. The bonus with guys like Jermaine Mitchell is that at any moment, the skill set that made the Oakland Athletics select them in the fifth round of the 2006 draft could reveal itself at any moment… like a virus, or… something… good.
As that Beerleaguer article states, Mitchell was the fifth-best prospect in the A’s system in 2011. He was also the given the “Best Defender” honors two years in a row. Which proves once and for all that RUBEN IS NOT LISTENING WE NEED A POWER BAT TO HIT HOME RUNS BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS THAT IF YOU HIT A HOME RUN YOU AUTOMATICALLY WIN THE GAME LOS ANGELES ANGELS 2013 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS BOOK IT.
Cesar Jimenez, LHP
Jimenez appeared in the Majors for three years, none of them in a row. In 2005, he was trusted with anchoring the rotation of Double-A San Antonio, after circling up to Tacoma for a failed Triple-A stint. The change saw him shift from a starter to a reliever. At age 21, he threw 7.1 innings for the Mariners over four games, amassing an ERA over 14.00 and giving up four home runs. He resurfaced at 23, appearing in 31 games and notching a much more normal-looking 3.41 ERA with 3.4 BB/9. Working on limited time in 2011, he appeared for 6.2 innings, he put together a performance pretty akin to his last two stints.
After suffering injury setbacks, Jimenez has become one of those gambles who can chuck a few strikes when his arm is attached correctly. But like anybody weakened by unfortunate circumstances, Jimenez is less effective the more injured he gets, and the more he pitches, the more likely it is for him to be injured. So.
Zach Miner, RHP
We wrote about Miner this weekend, as did everyone, and we all got a look at him in his Royals team picture, cheesing away, because it was the only AP photo available.
I imagine any of the correct things we said about him are still applicable.