After five straight division titles that produced two trips to the World Series and one parade, the Philadelphia Phillies are coming off one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory—a lackluster third place finish, nestled in behind a pair of division rivals with young rosters.
And also, there is the realization that the following few seasons will be an uphill battle, regardless of the overall age of the Phillies' roster.
The fact of the matter here is that the Phillies aren't getting any younger. Their window to compete for another championship may not be "closing" per se, but with the core of this roster quickly deteriorating, it certainly is not as wide open as it has been in years past.
That's why, in this spring more than any other in recent memory, the Phillies may have to rely on a few unlikely names. Each spring, teams invite "non-roster players"—or players not on the 40-man roster—to MLB camp to participate in spring training.
This way, they can get a look at their minor league depth and give players a chance to win a position battle.
Those players are going to be important for the Phillies this season. They are in older team who needs to create depth in certain areas of the club. In this slideshow, I will give profiles on all of the Phillies' non-roster invitees as well as a few "under-the-radar" players who can help the club in 2013.