Phils give Mather, five others spring invites

You can tell that spring training is getting closer when news of players being invited to camp starts to trickle out. In all, the Phillies have invited 18 non-roster players to spring training.

The Phillies extended spring training invitations to six more players on Wednesday.

Recently signed minor league free agent Joe Mather, who played with the Chicago Cubs last season, was among the newly invited. He joins infielder Cody Asche, catcher Tommy Joseph and pitchers Justin Friend, Adam Morgan and Kyle Simon on the list of spring training invitations.

Mather, 30, has played in the majors with St. Louis, Atlanta and the Cubs and can play all three outfield spots in addition to third and first base. Over parts of four major league seasons, Mather is a .219 hitter with 14 home runs to his credit.

Asche is the heir-apparent at third base for the Phillies and could start the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Asche hit .324 with 12 home runs and 72 RBI playing for both Clearwater and Reading last season.

Joseph and Simon were obtained in separate trades last season, with Joseph coming over from the San Francisco Giants and Simon joining the Phillies from the Orioles organization in the Jim Thome deal.

Here is the complete list of non-roster players given invitations to Phillies spring training.

Right-Handed Pitchers: Aaron Cook, Juan Cruz, Justin Friend, Rodrigo Lopez, Zach Miner and Kyle Simon.

Left-Handed Pitchers: Cesar Jimenez and Adam Morgan.

Catchers: Tommy Joseph, Steven Lerud and Humberto Quintero.

Infielders: Cody Asche, Andres Blanco, Josh Fields, Michael Martinez and Pete Orr.

Outfielders: Joe Mather and Jermaine Mitchell.

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