While teams across Major League Baseball have announced their non roster invitees to big league spring training by now, the Colorado Rockies haven't taken that plunge. Others in the NL West are inviting nearly two dozen players to camp (including former Rockies!), but nothing yet from this club.
That's not a bad thing; we'll see who's in camp soon enough (we know of one for sure), and in the meantime it gives us an opportunity to ponder who might be on that non-roster list. So today, let's do that! Of course, NRI's aren't the most important thing in the world, but every so often one of them makes it onto the big league roster out of camp, and it also gives us a look at some young prospects given a chance to take on Major League spring training for the first time.
Here's a guess at players that might join the Rockies as non roster invitees next week:
Pitchers (14): Jeff Hoffman, Matt Carasiti, Harrison Musgrave, Sam Moll, Shane Carle, Nelson Gonzalez, Tyler Ybarra, Brian Schlitter, Yohan Flande, Brock Huntzinger, Jason Gurka, Simon Castro, Gonzalez Germen, Carlos Hernandez.
Obviously, there are two things going on here: first, I'd imagine the Rockies give a few prospects (Hoffman, Carasiti, Musgrave, Moll, perhaps more) a shot at big league spring training. They aren't on the 40-man roster right now and yet they still are nearly ready for a shot at the big leagues, and I'm sure the organization's talent evaluators would love to see them in that environment this spring.
On the other end of the spectrum there are veterans, often with big league experience, that are going to serve as high minor league depth to start the season but won't be far from the Majors, depending on injuries and other unforeseen circumstances. That includes Flande, Castro, newcomers Huntzinger and Schlitter, and others.
Infielders/outfielders (6): Jordan Patterson, David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, Alex Castellanos, Kyle Parker, Will Swanner.
It'll be interesting to see if Dahl and McMahon get a shot with the big league club this spring. McMahon specifically may be a step too far away, but assuming he'll likely start 2016 at Double-A Hartford, he's close. On the other end of the spectrum, Castellanos will try to do this year what Roger Bernadina couldn't do that last year, while Parker tries to salvage whatever there is left to salvage in the organization.
Catchers (4): Ryan Casteel, Jackson Williams, Cameron Garfield, Cole Leonida.
The Rockies ought to invite several catchers to spring training, if only to help in working with pitchers for the next few weeks before games begin. That includes Williams, who has big league experience, along with Casteel, who's been well-regarded in this organization. That probably also includes Garfield and Leonida, both much further away from the big leagues but both able to help with the catching duties of the spring.
What about you—who do you think will be invited to big league camp? Who (not on the 40-man) are you most looking forward to seeing this spring? Did I miss someone?