FIL: Who's Not Going and Why

There will be a wealth of talent in the Florida Instructional League this fall, but there are also some talented players who didn't get an invite. Philly Baseball News takes a look at who they are and why they're not going to Clearwater.

As young players gathered in the Florida sunshine today, they looked around and saw some familiar faces. In all, there are 39 players in the Florida Instructional League this year, including two rehabbing players. So, when the invites went out, why didn't some players get a call?

One player who might look like an interesting omission is Williamsport shortstop Freddy Galvis. The 17 year old had his DSL season cut short by a shoulder injury at the end of July. Initially, the Phillies thought he would be able to return in time to take part in the fall drills in Florida, but his rehab hasn't gone quite as well as they had hoped and he was left off the list of invites. Williamsport's D'Arby Myers, who suffered a broken wrist late in the year is healthy enough to attend, but will only be there on a rehab assignment, as will his CrossCutters' teammate right-hander Luke Wertz.

Michael Durant is another player who may be somewhat surprised not to be invited to the Florida Instructional League. Durant hit just .236 at Williamsport this summer and launched a disappointing five home runs, driving in just 23 runs and hasn't developed the way the Phillies have hoped that he would develop. It was assumed that they would want to work with him this fall, but they declined. It's a sign that Durant's star is fading and it will be interesting to see what level they start him at for the 2008 season.

Jarrod Freeman posted a 4.75 ERA in stops at three levels this summer - GCL, Williamsport and Lakewood - but was also left off the list of players for this year's Florida Instructional League. Freeman received a lot of consideration for an invite, but in the end, the Phillies have decided not to tinker with him too much and chose to not include him in the FIL. Unlike Durant, Freeman is still considered a rising star in the Phillies organization.

Meanwhile, there are also some names that are somewhat surprising.

Welinson Baez may be on his final chance to show the Phillies brass that there are signs of life in his career. The 23 year old started the year at Clearwater, but hit just .238 in 63 games and found himself back at Lakewood where things got even worse and he hit just .219 for the BlueClaws. Defensively, Baez made 33 errors this season, so he's not being kept around for his defense either. A weak showing in Florida and he could be a goner.

19 year old right-hander Robert Roth spent the season rehabbing and didn't play, but is on the FIL roster. Roth played in the Gulf Coast League last season and had the dubious distinction of leading the league by issuing 31 walks. He finished the season with a 5.67 ERA, splitting his time between the bullpen and the starting rotation. The Phillies took Roth in the 19th round of the 2006 Draft.

Florida Instructional League workouts started today - September 17th - and will continue through the start of games on Saturday. The FIL season ends October 17th.

The Phillies also assigned right-hander Patrick Overholt and Clearwater's post-season hero Brad Harman to the Hawaiian Winter League which begins play September 29th. The HWL returned last year after after an eight year hiatus. Players from Japan and Korea will also be on Hawaiian Winter League rosters.

Earlier, the Phillies had announced that pitchers Joe Bisenius, J.A. Happ, Scott Mathieson, Josh Outman and Joe Savery along with catcher Lou Marson, third baseman Mike Costanzo and outfielder Greg Golson would all play in the Arizona Fall League, the ultimate showcase for prospects. That season runs from October 9th through November 15th. Phillies players will have a familiar face coaching them. Triple-A manager John Russell will be managing them on the Peoria Saguaros.


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