Spring training is quickly approaching, here is a quick rundown of current non-roster invitees (NRIs) for spring training. Individually, most of these guys are very long shots to make the Opening Day roster, but collectively there's a good chance one or two of them do. The odds given are to make the 25-man roster right out of spring training, not at some point this season.
David Aardsma (signed January 23, 2014): Relief pitcher who played last year with the New York Mets with a 1.462 WHIP, 8.2 K/9 and 83 ERA+ in 39.2 innings. He is probably fighting for the #7 RH relief role at the moment. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 5%.
Scott Atchison (signed January 6, 2014): Another relief pitcher that was with the Mets last season. He had a 1.257 WHIP, 5.6 K/9 and 82 ERA+ in 45.1 innings. He is probably just ahead of Aardsma in the pecking order. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 7.5%.
Travis Banwart (signed December 13, 2013): A minor league free agent from the Athletics, he spent most of the past four years in the Sacramento River Cats (AAA-PCL) rotation. Last season he was 10-5 with a 4.60 ERA, 1.519 WHIP and 8.6 K/9. I believe he would be the last NRI starter to get the nod. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 0.1%.
Matt Capps (re-signed March 27, 2013): After spending all of 2013 in Columbus rehabbing, the front office offered him an invite on October 17, 2013. He did make 6 appearances with a 1.29 ERA, 1.000 WHIP and 3.9 K/9 in just 7 innings. If healthy, I'd expect he gets rostered. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 25%.
Tyler Cloyd (signed December 13, 2013): Originally claimed on waivers from the Phillies on October 2, 2013 he was designated for assignment on November 25, 2013. He split the last two seasons between Lehigh Valley (AAA) and Philadelphia, mainly as a starter. He was 2-7 in 11 starts in Philly with a 1.790 WHIP, 6.1 K/9 and 58 ERA+ in 60.1 innings. As he is right handed, I would put him just ahead of Banwart, but that is mainly because he was already on the 40 once. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 0.5%.
Shaun Marcum (signed December 13, 2013): Another former Met, he was released last midseason after a 1.353 WHIP, 6.9 K/9 and 68 ERA+ in 78.1 innings and 12 starts. If he can rebound to his 2010 to 2012 form, he should beat out Carrasco for the #5 spot. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 25%.
J.C. Ramirez (signed November 1, 2013): This right handed reliever had two different stints in the Phillies bullpen last season. He had a 1.875 WHIP, 6.0 K/9 and 52 ERA+ in just 24 overall innings. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 1%.
Mike Zagurski (signed November 22, 2013): This lefty reliever split time among three franchises, mostly in AAA, last season; Pirates, Athletics and Yankees. He did make 6 appearances for the Pirates in May/June and one for the Yankees in September. He had a 3.04 ERA, 1.275 WHIP and 14.0 K/9 in 53.1 AAA innings last year. As he is a lefty, his odds are better to make the team than most as Hagadone is likely the #2 lefty right now. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 25%.
Luke Carlin (signed January 24, 2014): After playing part time in Columbus from 2010 to 2012, Carlin spent 2013 playing for the Angels AAA affiliate in Salt Lake City. He hit 230/339/311 in 292 plate appearances (PA). Even though he has played for the Tribe before, I think he is purely here to play in Columbus this season and is either #4 or #5 on the depth chart at catcher. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 1%.
Jake Lowery (fourth-round pick in 2011): He played only 12 games in Carolina before spending most of the year at Akron. He hit 275/363/449 in 270 PAs for Akron. He is slotted behind Roberto Perez currently but could surpass him this season. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 0.5%.
Roberto Perez (thirty-third-round pick in 2008): He slashed 247/453/376 in 128 PAs in Akron before struggling to a 176/269/241 in 222 PAs for the Clippers last season. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 1.0%.
Matt Treanor (signed December 17, 2013): He did not play in 2013 after the Dodgers let him go after the 2012 season. He was the backup catcher for them that year and hit 175/281/282 (57 OPS+) in 122 PAs. As he has a proven MLB track record, I believe he has the inside edge to make the team if the Indians decide to carry three catchers. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 10%.
Tony Wolters (third-round pick in 2010): Originally drafted as a shortstop, Wolters was shifted to catcher for the 2013 season. That is why he repeated A+ with Carolina. He hit 277/369/353 in 340 PAs. He should start in Akron this year. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 0.1%.
Jason Giambi (re-signed November 1, 2013): While the overall numbers don't look all that special in 2013, 183/282/371 85 OPS+ in 216 PAs, he had some of the more important moments on the team. He was also an instrumental clubhouse guy. At 43, I don't really see him repeating the little success he had last year, but Francona does like they guy, so I think he has the inside track if the Tribe keeps four bench players. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 20%.
Elliot Johnson (signed January 27, 2014): He is a second baseman by trade, but has played short, third and some outfield. He started 2013 with the Royals and hit 179/218/241 (26 OPS+) in 173 PAs. The Braves claimed him off waivers in late August and he fared much better in the NL, 261/317/359 in 92 PAs. He also started four games for Braves against the Dodgers in the NLDS. I expect he only gets a crack if Aviles gets hurt. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 5%.
Francisco Lindor (first-round pick in 2011): I shouldn't have to say much here as Lindor has been covered extensively on this site and on the top prospect lists. I'll just leave these numbers from 2013 with about 80% of the data from Carolina and the rest from Akron: 303/380/407 as a 19 year old. The front office will really want to see him put up some more time in AA and probably some in AAA before a call-up. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 1%.
Ryan Rohlinger (signed February 25, 2013): He played mainly 3B for Columbus last season with some time at short as well. He hit 266/353/367 in 375 PAs. He really should only play in AAA this season. He was given his spring training invite on November 1, 2013. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 2%.
Joe Wendle (sixth-round pick in 2012): He lit up Carolina (A+) last year as he hit 295/372/513 in 474 PAs as a second baseman. However he is already 23 and hasn't played in AA yet. I expect he'll start in Akron this year. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 0.1%.
Matt Carson (signed December 13, 2013): This September star was outrighted in a roster crunch in November, but re-signed two weeks later. He hit 636/692/909 in just 13 PA with 3 steals as a late inning defensive replacement and/or pinch runner. In Columbus he hit 252/322/394 in 490 PAs. With a few of the other signings, he is far down the depth chart this year. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 1%.
Jeff Francoeur (signed January 6, 2014): After a very poor 2012, he finally got the axe from the Royals in July after hitting 208/249/322 55 OPS+ in 193 PAs. He lasted just six weeks with the Giants after that, hitting 194/206/226 26 OPS+ in 63 PAs. He is still just 30 so he could turn it around. I just don't think its likely. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 2%.
Nyjer Morgan (signed January 16, 2014): He last played in the MLB in 2012 with the Brewers but hit poorly, 239/302/308 63 OPS+ in 322 PAs. He spent 2013 in Japan with the Yokohama Bay Stars. He found his stroke again, 294/361/434 in 424 PAs. If he keep that stroke going, he could get the first call if any of the regulars gets dinged up. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 5%.
Tyler Naquin (first-round pick in 2012): He hit very well in Carolina (A+) last year, 277/345/424 in 498 PAs. But he was an old 22 for that league. His brief exposure in Akron (AA) did not shine for him, 225/271/300 in 85 PAs. He should get a full year in Akron unless it clicks for him quickly. Odds to make the 25 man roster: 0.1%.