Sidearm right-hander and former White Sox hurler Ehren Wasserman, and Hawaiian catcher Dane Sardinha, who spent time with Detroit last season, are among 13 Phillies added as Phillies non-roster spring invitees. But the real story is the number of highly regarded prospects coming to camp.
Phillipe Aumont and Tyson Gillies, two of the three players included in the Cliff Lee trade, will join the big club in Clearwater, along with top prospect Domonic Brown, shortstop Freddy Galvis, reliever B.J. Rosenberg and left-hander Joe Savery. In addition, the Phils are bringing back minor league veteran Ozzie Chavez to boost the confidence of opposing relievers, along with the catching cavalcade of Tuffy Gosewisch, Kevin Nelson and John Suomi, soon to be seen squatting in a row along a fence. Ryan Vogelsong, who we reported on yesterday, is also invited, rounding out the list of 13.
Sardinha is a former second-round pick of the Reds who never panned out and has basically been stuck in Triple-A for an eternity, but he has enough experience to make the Phillies reasonably comfortable in case Carlos Ruiz or Brian Schneider get hurt. Is he better than Paul Hoover? Even the most hard-bitten Beerleaguer doesn't care about that one. Wasserman, who appeared in 57 games with the Southsiders between 2007-08, is strictly inventory.
Personally, Aumont, Rosenberg and Savery are the most intriguing players on the list. I think everyone knew Brown was coming. After watching a few clips, I’m anxious to see the gargantuan Canadian Aumont in action. The Rosenberg invite is an interesting tell; you’re starting to see his name pop up more and more as a legit bullpen prospect and it's rare you see someone groomed to relieve. This is a make-or-break year for Savery and I’m expecting to see him get at least a few Grapefruit League starts to make an impression (although the fact that Amaro didn’t mention him the other day doesn’t give me a strong impression).
Here’s the complete list as it appeared today, courtesy of the Phillies:
Phillipe Aumont, RHP: Aumont, 21, split last season between single-A High Desert and double-A West Tennessee where he combined to go 2-6 with 16 saves, a 3.88 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 51.0 innings (44 games). Following the season, he pitched for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League. A 6-foot-7, 254-pound native of Gatineau, Quebec, Aumont also pitched for Team Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Domonic Brown, OF: Following the 2009 season, Brown, 22, was named the Phillies' top minor league prospect by Baseball America. Brown began last season with single-A Clearwater where he was named a Florida State League All-Star after hitting .303 with 11 home runs and 44 RBI in 66 games. He finished the season with double-A Reading, batting .279 with three home runs and 20 RBI in 37 games. After the season, Brown played for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League and was named to the AFL's Top Prospect team.
Ozzie Chavez, INF: Chavez, 26, spent last season with double-A Reading where he appeared in 112 games and batted .259 with 34 RBI and scored 37 runs. Also a non-roster invitee to Phillies spring training in 2009, Chavez made 96 appearances at shortstop and 15 at second base. He batted .289 (26-90) with 32 RBI with runners in scoring position. Following the season, Chavez played for Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League.
Freddy Galvis, INF: Galvis, 20, spent the majority of the 2009 season with single-A Clearwater, batting .247 with 15 RBI over 63 games, all at shortstop. He was named Phillies Minor League Player of the Week for April 20-26, after batting .417. Galvis missed time in May due to a fractured right ring finger but returned to finish the season with double-A Reading.
Tyson Gillies, OF: Gillies, 21, who was acquired from Seattle along with Aumont, spent the 2009 season with single-A High Desert where he hit .341 with 50 extra-base hits and 42 RBI over 124 games. He led all Mariners minor leaguers with 44 stolen bases and his .341 batting average ranked second. A native of Kamloops, British Columbia, Gillies recorded 52 multi-hit games on the season and batted .350 with 31 RBI with runners in scoring position.
Tuffy Gosewisch, C: Between stops at double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley last season, Gosewisch, 26, batted .235 with 21 RBI over 76 games. With Reading, he batted .365 against left-handed pitching. Following the season, Gosewisch, who was also a non-roster invitee to Phillies spring training in 2009, played for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League where he batted .318 in 11 games.
Kevin Nelson, C: Nelson, 28, spent last season with double-A Reading where he set career highs in several offensive categories including games (53), hits (40), home runs (9) and RBI (27). He also appeared in four games for triple-A Lehigh Valley. Between both clubs, Nelson threw out 15 of 44 potential basestealers (34.1%).
Brian (B.J.) Rosenberg, RHP: In 2009, Rosenberg, 25, pitched for both single-A Lakewood and double-A Reading. He was named a South Atlantic League All-Star with Lakewood after going 7-2 with 19 saves and a 0.89 ERA in his 37 appearances. Between both clubs, he converted 22 of his 26 save opportunities and 38 of his 47 appearances were scoreless. Following the season, Rosenberg pitched for Yaquis de Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League.
Dane Sardinha, C: Sardinha, 30, split last season between triple-A Toledo and the Detroit Tigers. The Hawaii native began the season with Toledo before being recalled by the Tigers to serve as their backup catcher from late April through June. With Toledo he batted .178 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 38 games. For his major league career, Sardinha has appeared in 31 games between the Reds (2003, 2005) and Tigers (2009).
Joe Savery, LHP: Savery, 24, combined to go 16-6 with a 4.40 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) between double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley. With Reading, Savery went 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA in six June starts en route to being named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month. In addition, Savery who was also a non-roster invitee to Phillies spring training in 2008, was named to the Eastern League midseason All-Star team.
John Suomi, C: After spending parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons in the Phillies minor league system, Suomi, 29, was in the Kansas City Royals organization in 2009. In 60 games between double-A Northwest Arkansas and triple-A Omaha, the Toronto native batted .246 with eight home runs and 25 RBI. Last season, Suomi appeared in 40 games at catcher, 12 as designated hitter, five in left field and three as a pinch-hitter.
Ehren Wasserman, RHP: Wasserman, 29, pitched for triple-A Charlotte last season where he went 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 43 appearances. He finished second on Charlotte's staff in appearances and third in wins. Following the season, Wasserman pitched for Venados de Mazatlan in the Mexican Pacific League. For his major league career, he has a 2-3 record with a 5.06 ERA in 57 games with the White Sox (2007-08).
Ryan Vogelsong, RHP: Vogelsong, 32, has not pitched professionally in the United States since the 2006 season. He spent the past three years pitching in Japan for the Hanshin Tigers (2007-08) and Orix Buffaloes (2009). For his career, Vogelsong has a major league record of 10-22 with a 5.86 ERA over six seasons between the Giants (2000-01) and Pirates (2001, 2003-06).