Welcome back to another edition of “Philling You In”.
First off, Happy Groundhog Day to all on this 2nd day of February.
Ahh yes, you know February, the same month in which men buy flowers and chocolates for their loved ones (check www.readingphillies.com for a fun way to take care of your sweetie this Valentine’s Day) the Super Bowl, and of course, my favorite — the month when players are expected to report for Spring Training.
This year’s schedule:
Feb. 18 – First date injured players, pitchers and catchers may report to Spring Training.
Feb. 23 – First date all players may report to Spring Training.
March 2 – Mandatory Spring Training reporting date for all players.
Now, with spring training on my mind, and the R-Phils season just a little over 2 months away, I think it is about time to start to take a look at some of the players the Philadelphia Phillies have invited to spring training as non-roster players. While some of the players are veterans — and may never play here at FirstEnergy Stadium, some are top prospects in the system — with a good shot at starting 2010 here in Reading.
Let’s take a look at some of the non-roster invitees — ENJOY!
PART 1 of 4 – Catcher (Sardinha), OF (Duffy), & Two Middle Infielders (Chavez & Valdez).
Dane Sardinha – Originally selected by Cincinnati in 2nd round (46th overall) of 2000 draft
Sardinha, 30, spent the majority of the 2009 season with the Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A Tigers), where he hit just .178 with 3 homers and 16 RBIs in 118 at-bats. A native of Hawaii, Sardinha appeared in 12 games for the Tigers in ’09, and hit .097 (3-31) with 3 RBIs. Over nine Minor League seasons, the Pepperdine University product has compiled a .220 average with 56 homers, and 294 RBIs.
Chris Duffy – Originally selected by Pittsburgh in 8th round (234th overall) of 2001 draft
Duffy, 29, split last season between Milwaukee and Nashville (AAA). In just 32 at-bats for the Brewers, Duffy hit .125 (4-32) with three RBIs.
Once ranked as the number 9 prospect in the Pirates organization (2006), Duffy, a native of Brattleboro, Vermont, put up solid numbers from 2002 to 2005 in the Pirates system. In 2002 with Lynchburg (A), Duffy batted .301 with 10 homers, 52 RBIs, and 22 sbs. He enjoyed solid seasons with Altoona (AA) in 2003 and 2004, and in 2005, after appearing in 78 games with Indianapolis (AAA), Duffy was promoted to Pittsburgh where he excelled with the Bucs. The Arizona State University product hit .341 with a homer and 9 RBIs with Pittsburgh in ’05, before an injury in late August shortened his season. Over nine Minor League seasons, Duffy has compiled a .299 batting average with 31 homers, 221 RBIs and 152 sbs. Over four Major League campaigns, he hit .262-6-52, with 41 steals.
Ozzie Chavez – Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Milwaukee in 1999
Chavez, 26, spent the 2009 season here in Reading with the R-Phils, appearing in 112 games.Mostly used at SS (96 games), Chavez has played every infield position over his nine year Minor League career.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Chavez, compiled a .259 batting average with 1 homer, 34 RBIs, and 7 sbs. Over his nine Minor League seasons, Ozzie Smith Chavez owns a .250 career batting average with 22 homers, 302 RBIs, and 58 sbs.
Wilson Valdez – Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Montreal in 1997
Valdez, 31, made his Major League debut with the Chicago White Sox back on Sept. 7, 2004, and has spent parts of four seasons at the Major League level. In 152 big league games, Valdez has posted a .222 average with 1 homer and 27 RBIs. In 2009, Valdez hit .256-0-7 for the New York Mets over 41 games.
Valdez, a native of the Dominican Republic, has compiled a .283 batting average with 21 homers and 300 RBIs over 11 Minor League seasons.