Venable signs Minors contract with Phillies

Venable signs Minors contract with Phillies

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Put outfielder Will Venable into the mix to make the Phillies' Opening Day roster.

The Phillies announced Monday they had agreed to a Minor League contract with Venable, who will be in camp Tuesday.

"I'm anxious to see him," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

The Indians released Venable, 33, after he hit .133 (4-for-30) in 13 Cactus League games. But the Phillies like him because they are thin in the outfield due to injuries to Aaron Altherr, who is sidelined until at least July following left wrist surgery, and Cody Asche, who is expected to open the season on the disabled list because of a strained right oblique.

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The Phillies' projected Opening Day outfielders are Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos and Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Goeddel, although Venable could put Goeddel on the bench if he makes the team.

The move leaves Venable, Cedric Hunter, Emmanuel Burriss and David Lough fighting for the final two bench jobs.

"Out of those four, we'll probably choose two of them," Mackanin said.

Venable, who suddenly becomes a favorite for one of those jobs, posted a .669 OPS in 390 plate appearances last season with the Padres and Rangers. He had a .613 OPS in 448 plate appearances with San Diego in 2014, but posted a respectable .796 OPS with the Padres in '13.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.