As Spring Training approaches, the news starts to come in out of Clearwater. This from Matt Gelb, who heard from Phillies PR man Kevin Gregg on the seven camp invitees just announced. Michael Schwimer is the most recognizable name to the average fan, he ranks in the middle of a number of Phillies prospect lists as a right-handed reliever out of the University of Virginia. Schwim finished the 2010 campaign in Lehigh Valley, where he posted a 1.35 ERA in 16 relief appearances. He's got a legitimate shot to make the team out of camp and his play will indicate whether or not Ruben Amaro has to go out and sign a veteran reliever to take the spot of Chad Durbin. He also blogs at Phuture Phillies from time to time, which is beyond awesome since he was a journalism major and the kid can write.
Michael Stutes is another RHP who split time between Reading and LHV in '10. Originally a starter, Stutes spent all of 2010 in the bullpen, pitching 76.1 innings for a 3.42 ERA between the two levels. He's very much in the mold of a Durbin or Clay Condrey, in that he can get to the low 90s with his heat and will be able to go more than an inning or two in mop-up duty. He's more of a long shot to make the team, but there could be a hole for him to fill if Scott Mathieson continues to have injury troubles.
Brian Bass was recently signed by the Phils out of Pittsburgh and figures to be a disposable arm in Allentown the whole year. He most recently pitched in the Venezuelan Winter League to the tune of a 2.68 ERA in seven starts. Having been up in the Majors before, he's a good bet for a spot start in case one of the Phillies Five goes down.
Joel Naughton and Tuffy Gosewich are catching prospects that have bounced around quite a bit over the last four years in the Phillies system. This is Gosewich's third invite to camp, primarily as a body, but he can defend the position well even if his bad isn't ML quality. Naughton is a 24-year-old Aussie who batted .308 with some pop in Clearwater last season. Next to Sebastian Valle, he's the best catching prospect outside of rookie ball in the system, even if his ceiling tops out at ML backup. I wouldn't be shocked if he steals the role this season, but it's more likely he'll be in Reading.
Robb Quinlan and Delwyn Young have more than their share of ML experience on their resumes. Quinlan spent eight seasons with the Angels, having once been a prospect that was well thought of in their system. He's a career .276 hitter and could definitely earn a spot as a utility man if he hits in the Spring. Young has split time with the Dodgers and PIrates over his career, earning a reputation as a good pinch hitter, knocking 16 base-hits in 2010, good for third in the Majors. He's a switch-hitter that plays a bevy of positions and will be fighting with Quinlan to back up Wilson Valdez as the primary utility option.