These non-roster signings prove, once again, there's plenty of marginal talent to go around.
It's always a pleasure to report on non-roster invitees, especially with the added emphasis on exposing these players to the bright lights and big stage as the Phils regress into the 2002 version of themselves.
Invitees always embody the same basic archetypes. One of them is the little live-armed LOOGY who needs 30 pitches to retire three batters. If you were half paying attention after the All-Star break, as many of us were, you thought you were watching suspended lefty Antonio Bastardo when you were actually watching his body double Cesar Jimenez, who made 19 appearances, walked 10, struck out 11 and surrendered 14 hits in 17 innings.
"Why not take a flier on X reliever" is another repeated creed that always seems to work for teams other than the Phillies. That's 37-year-old Shawn Camp, who led the league in appearances two seasons ago with the Cubs and whose career illustrates the season-by-season ERA yo-yo reserved for the small-sample world of the reliever.
Next you have your Quad-A utility outfielder in Clete Thomas, 30, who heads East from the deferential obscurity of the AL Central, where outfielders are apparently named Clete, or Casper. He had 322 plate appearances last season and a .597 OPS.
Finally, you have your Quad-A utility outfielder in training in Leandro Castro, who will someday take an extended residence in someone's outfield, much like Quintin Berry two seasons ago in Detroit, causing much consternation and lamentation on Beerleaguer, until he suffers the inevitable flameout and demotion to the Mexican leagues.