Non-roster invitees so far for Spring Training 2013 were announced yesterday, so let's take a closer look at who we're going to see play the last half of most of the games in March.
Nick Christiani, RHP
Nick had a pretty quiet season in Louisville last year, but put up some really nice numbers. He put up a 3.34 ERA in 72.2 innings, but his peripherals still really need work. He's never been much of a strikeout guy, averaging 5.6 K/9 in his minor league career so far.
Justin Freeman, RHP
32nd round picks working their way up the system are always good stories to report on, and this is no exception. Much higher strikeout numbers for Freeman, but he did it in AA, and has produced everywhere he's been so far. He's a long shot to make the roster, but a good showing here could have him performing a key role in Louisville this year.
Drew Hayes, RHP
Hayes skipped Bako last year to spend the entire year in AA, he's always been the type to strike out a lot of guys, but also walks a lot. He'll turn 25 this year, so he'll probably be in Louisville too.
Chad Rogers, RHP
You want feel-good stories? Chad Rogers. As you may recall, Rogers is the one who got bit by a shark shortly after being drafted, but bounced back from 60 stitches to put up an ERA under 2 in AA last year. He could definitely be a surprisingly dominant force here.
Wilkin De La Rosa, LHP
This Dominican lefty is here because of the hand he throws with, I'm thinking. He may get a few innings, but he'll be a 28-year-old journeyman who was pitching in independent ball less than 2 years ago. He was decent in AA last year nonetheless, posting a 2.49 ERA in 43.1 IP.
Nevin Ashley, C
Who? Ashley was a minor league free agent acquisition this past offseason, after spending the last 7 years in the Rays organization. He had an .811 OPS in Durham last year, and must have figured he wasn't getting a shot there. I'm not sure he's any higher up on the depth chart here, though.
Tucker Barnhart, C
Despite a rough season last year, Tucker's getting a shot with the big boys. He only hit .200/.262/.292 in only 41 games in AA last year, and will likely go back there and be the main guy there again.
Corky Miller, C
Shit yeah, son.
Emmanuel Burriss, IF
Burriss has been in the Giants organization his whole career, but this Kent State grad is back in the Buckeye State. Well, let's hope not and hope he's in the adjacent Bluegrass State, because I don't want him anywhere near the major league roster. He's played mostly 2B the past few years, and spent most of last year on the SF bench hitting .213/.270/.211 in 136 AB.
Kris Negron, IF
5 big league ABs last year notwithstanding, Negron is still posting up in Louisville for the time being. He hit .218/.287/.342 in a full season of ABs, and will likely not make the big league club barring any injuries.
Cesar Izturis, IF
How this guy made an all-star team is beyond me, but Dusty Baker now has a career 64 OPS+ hitter at his disposal. Look out. He hit .241/.254/.343 in the bigs last year, most of that with Milwaukee. This'll be the 9th organization to employ Mr. Izturis.
Ryan LaMarre, OF
A full season in Pensacola last year, and he was solid as he's always been. Hit .263/.356/.353 in a full season of leading off, and will likely get the shot there in Louisville too. He'll have to move to a corner, and I think we'll see him make that transition in the spring.
Billy Hamilton, OF
Obviously, you know about his exploits from last season, but this'll be the first chance for us to see Billy play CF first hand (or at least, listen to Marty/Thom/Cowboy talk about it). This is the most exciting player on this list, in my opinion, and it isn't even close.
Denis Phipps, OF
I thought I was done with Denis Phipps. Next.
Derrick Robinson, OF
Robinson is an odd case, as he signed from the Royals after spending last season on their AAA team in Omaha. Robinson hit .268/.344/.325, and will likely hang out in Louisville this season too. I'll be interested to see how this goes.
That's it for now, we'll add more names to the list as the Reds do. This puts the camp roster at 55 if I'm counting correctly, so they'll probably put a couple more names here as we go along (especially if the WBC worst case scenarios happen).