According to a report by Ken Rosenthal, on FOXSports.com the Phillies are interested in adding a right hander to their bench. Two of the names Rosenthal mentioned were Nomar Garciaparra and Gabe Kapler.
Garciaparra is a six-time All-Star (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006). In five postseason series he has batted .323 with a slugging percentage of .625. He has played with the Dodgers, Cubs, and most notably the Red Sox. He is a little over the hill now, hitting only .234 in 46 games last season. He could be a solid righty off the bench, which is something the Phils need, considering they only have Eric Bruntlett now, who could potentially start the season at 2B depending on Utley’s health.
Kapler on the other hand has played portions of nine seasons in Major League Baseball with the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, and Boston Red Sox. He is a career .273 hitter, who doesn’t really have a lot of pop.
There’s also another twist… in 2006 Kapler retired from MLB after battling knee problems. In ‘07 he managed the Red Sox A Affiliate. In 2008 he decided to make a return to the big leagues. He came back and had an above average season with Milwaukee. The 32-year-old gets a lot of credit for having great work ethics and being in good shape. Teammate Ryan Braun had high praises for him saying,”He’s as good a backup outfielder as there is in baseball. He could be a starter on most teams.”
In other news the Phils have again announced non-roster spring training invitees. Here are the names and bios courtesy of the Phil’s PR department:
Antonio Bastardo, LHP … Bastardo, 23, combined to go 4-5 with a 2.95 ERA in 19 starts between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading last season. A midseason Florida State League All-Star in 2008, Bastardo allowed two earned runs or fewer in 14 of his 19 starts. He won the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month Award in April (2-0, 1.17 ERA, 5 GS) and also pitched for the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League.
Yorman Bazardo, RHP … Bazardo, 24, began the season on Detroit’s Opening Day roster but spent the majority of the season with triple-A Toledo where he went 4-13 with a 6.72 ERA in 25 games (22 starts). Following the season, Bazardo pitched for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. For his career, Bazardo has gone 2-1 with a 5.72 ERA in 15 major league games (2 starts) between Florida (2005) and Detroit (2007-08).
Jason Donald, INF … Donald, 24, spent last season with double-A Reading where he hit .307 with 14 home runs and 54 RBI in 92 games and was named both a midseason and postseason Eastern League All-Star. In addition to starting for the U.S. team at shortstop in the 2008 All-Star Futures Game at Yankee Stadium in July, Donald was also a member of Team U.S.A.’s bronze medal-winning team at the Summer Games in Beijing, China. Donald also participated in the Arizona Fall League where he was named to the Top Prospect Team.
Jason Ellison, OF… Ellison, 30, spent the majority of last season with triple-A Oklahoma in the Texas Rangers organization, where he hit .239 with two home runs and 45 RBI in 120 games. In a nine-game stint with the Rangers in August, he hit .231 with two RBI and scored five runs. For his major league career, Ellison has hit .251 with eight home runs and 35 RBI in 344 games between the Giants (2003-06), Mariners (2007), Reds (2007) and Rangers (2008).
Marcus Giles, INF … Giles, 30, did not play last season but has appeared in 792 major league games between Atlanta (2001-06) and San Diego (2007), hitting .277 with 76 home runs and 333 RBI. A National League All-Star in 2003, Giles has played in 25 career postseason games, all with Atlanta, where he hit .217 with two home runs and six RBI. For his career, he is batting .294 with 19 home runs and 250 RBI with runners in scoring position.
Tuffy Gosewisch, C … Also a non-roster invitee to spring training in 2007, Gosewisch, 25, spent the 2008 season with single-A Clearwater where he hit .218 with three home runs and 34 RBI in a career-high 102 games. Following the season he played for Mesa in the AFL where he hit .280 with four RBI in seven games.
Paul Hoover, C … Hoover, 32, played for both triple-A Albuquerque and the Florida Marlins last season. He began the year on Florida’s Opening Day roster and hit .200 with two RBI in eight games with the Marlins. At Albuquerque he hit .251 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 50 games. For his major league career, Hoover has hit .230 with five RBI in 28 games between Tampa Bay (2001-02) and Florida (2006-08).
Gary Majewski, RHP … Last season, Majewski, 28, pitched for both triple-A Louisville and the Cincinnati Reds. With Louisville, he went 2-1 with three saves and a 3.76 ERA in 22 games. In 37 appearances for Cincinnati, Majewski was 1-0 with a 6.53 ERA and posted a season-best 6.2-inning scoreless streak, spanning seven games. Over his five-year major league career he has gone 9-13 with two saves and a 4.61 ERA in 229 games between Montreal/Washington (2004-06) and Cincinnati (2006-08).
Jeremy Slayden, OF … Slayden, 26, spent all of last season with double-A Reading where in 131 games he hit .298 with 17 home runs and 81 RBI. Named an EL midseason All-Star, Slayden finished fourth in the league in extra-base hits (52) and total bases (232) and tied for fourth in doubles (33). He batted .362 during a season-best 18-game hit streak which was third-longest in the EL in 2008. Slayden also played for Mesa in the AFL where he hit .286 with three home runs and 27 RBI in 26 games.