Phils Invite Two To Spring Training

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, December 21, 2011 06:18 PM | Comments: 6

Montanez seen here taking a rare homerun trot. (Photo: AP)

The Phillies announced today the signings of Hector Luna and Luis Montanez.

Luna, 31, last saw Major League action in 2010 with the Marlins. Luna is a career .265/.317/.388 hitter playing primarily well-below average 2B, SS, and 3B. Luna spent last year in Triple-A Pawtucket where he hit .283/.350/.449 for the Red Sox affialiate.

Montanez, 30, may be a more useful piece to the Phils puzzle, hitting .222/.263/.352 in 57 plate appearances last year for the Cubs. Montanez is a slightly below average outfielder who has a career -5.2 UZR across all three outfield positions.  Montanez had an excellent year in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League in 2011 for Triple-A Iowa hitting .318/.393/.489.

Also, in a move corresponding to the J-Rol signing, the Phillies exposed INF Carlos Rivero to waivers and lost him to the Nationals. Rivero, 23, put up a .275/.331/.440 with 15 HR at Double-A Reading playing primarily 3B. Rivero struggled in a brief call-up to Lehigh Valley where he hit .185/.233/.444 with 1 HR. Rivero was a nice diamond-in-the-rough pick up for the Phils off waivers last season and his loss is unfortunate; somewhere, John Bowker, still on the 40-man roster, breathes a sigh of relief.

Analysis: Both Luna and Montanez were invited to Spring Training but neither figure to make the Phillies out of camp. The loss of Rivero is tough to swallow and gives more credence that John Bowker will receive a shot to be the fifth outfielder out of camp.

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 848 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

  • Posts: 5358 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    As poorly as 23 year old Rivero played in the 7 game call up to LH, he still did better than 27 year old Bowker did with the Phillies. .000BA .000OBP .000SLG .000OPS. Rivero played pretty well for Reading.

    I know they have a need for OF’s more than IF’s, but why do they keep Bowker? Am I missing something here? The guy had a negative OPS+ for 2010 with 2 teams.

    Odd isn’t it? The stat is called OPS+, and he had a negative number. :)

    • Posts: 442 Ian Riccaboni

      Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

      I’m sure John Bowker is a really nice guy, but they may lose him to Japan and they let a potentially serviceable third baseman, which is fairly tough to find, that hits with power, get claimed by a division rival. That particular move made no sense, particularly considering they signed a better all around version of him in Laynce Nix.

      I’m as dumbfounded as you, Lefty. Rivero had a tremendous year at third for Reading. Not sure why you’d expose a relatively young 3B who would probably start the year at Triple-A to waivers in a time where 3B depth is a premium across MLB. What may be as puzzling is Washington claiming him, as Zimmerman should be there for quite a bit. Rivero did come up as a shortstop but didn’t quite have the range to cut it there. Perhaps they have plans to shift him back?

  • Posts: 1048 EricL

    Avatar of EricL

    Bowker obviously has compromising photos of Ruben Amaro.

    Really, what the hell. Get him off the goddamn roster. He’s as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

    • Posts: 0 SavannahPhilliesPhan

      I agree with everyone about John Bowker and Eric you made my night with the screen door on a submarine….funny!!!

    • Posts: 2889 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      At least the submarine has a nice “summery” feel to it…

  • Posts: 0 George

    I don’t think the loss of Rivero is all that big a deal. He’s obviously viewed by teams as minor league depth, having been picked up by a team with a solid 3rd baseman. He may have just been in the way of someone else better in the Phils’ minds.

    When it comes to Bowker, I have no more clue than any other fan. Maybe the Phils think they can teach him how to actually swing a bat; much in the way they taught Michael Martinez to manage a .197 average.

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