Combing non-roster lists for ex-Giants
Wednesday, Feb. 25
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Copies of the 2015 Spring Training media guide were distributed to reporters today. Receiving this little spiral-bound fount of information is one of the highlights of camp, since it’s a rich source of entertainment value.
The first thing many baseball people do with the guide is examine each team’s list of non-roster invitees. It’s always intriguing — or sometimes sad — to see which ex-Giants landed elsewhere for an opportunity to prolong their careers.
This was a big year for left-handers, besides Barry Zito. Six southpaws formerly belonging to the Giants earned non-roster invitations to other camps. The catch is that only three of them pitched in the Major Leagues for the Giants: Dan Runzler, Jose Mijares and David Huff. They’re with Arizona, Cincinnati and the Dodgers, respectively.
Three other lefties who spent time in the Giants’ Minor League system coaxed invitations. They were Ryan Verdugo (A’s), Joe Paterson (Royals) and former Marlins ace Dontrelle Willis (Brewers).
Three teams each have a pair of invitees who once called themselves Giants. In Angels camp are outfielder Roger Kieschnick and catcher Jackson Williams. The Washington Nationals have infielders Emmanuel Burriss and Dan Uggla, whose four-game stint at second base with the Giants last year immediately preceded Joe Panik’s rise to prominence. Besides Mijares, the Reds latched onto infielder Chris Dominguez.
Right-hander Brad Penny, who excelled for the Giants in September 2009 when they were on the fringes of the National League West race, is in camp with the White Sox. Two other guys who keep getting chances are outfielder Jeff Francoeur (Phillies) and infielder Eugenio Velez (Rays). Another ballplayer who still manages to get a look is infielder Ryan Rohlinger (Indians).
Catcher Johnny Monell, a native of the Bronx, will play in his backyard if he can break through with the Mets.
Two outfielders who have displayed big league ability but must constantly fight for jobs are Nate Schierholtz (Texas) and Cole Gillespie (Miami).
— Chris Haft