Opportunity ahead for Phils' non-roster invitees

Group will include at least 22 players in Clearwater, Fla.

Opportunity ahead for Phils' non-roster invitees

PHILADELPHIA -- It is hard to believe, but the Phillies' pitchers and catchers hold their first official workout in Clearwater, Fla., in less than two weeks.

The Phils' front office continues to speak to agents about unsigned free agents that could be brought into camp as non-roster invitees on Minor League contracts. Philadelphia has 40 players on its 40-man roster, and it is unlikely it will sign anybody to a big league contract at this point.

Phillies' Spring Training info

The Phillies will have at least 22 non-roster invitees in camp. The group includes:

Pitchers (seven): right-handers Victor Arano, Pedro Beato, Dalier Hinojosa, Michael Mariot and Colton Murray; and left-handers Sean Burnett and Cesar Ramos.

Catchers (four): Ryan Hanigan, Bryan Holaday, Logan Moore and Chace Numata.

Infielders (seven): J.P. Crawford, Taylor Featherston, Pedro Florimon, Hector Gomez, Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery and Brock Stassi.

Outfielders (four): Daniel Nava, Cameron Perkins, Andrew Pullin and Chris Coghlan, who agreed to a Minor League deal on Thursday, a source told MLB.com.

Non-roster invitees often make the Opening Day roster. In recent seasons, that group included left-hander James Russell, infielder Emmanuel Burriss and outfielder Cedric Hunter in 2016; infielder Andres Blanco and outfielder Jeff Francoeur in '15; outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., left-hander Mario Hollands and right-hander Jeff Manship in '14; catcher Humberto Quintero in '13; and infielder Pete Orr in '12.

Philly manager Pete Mackanin already has mentioned Burnett as a candidate to make the Phillies' bullpen, as they lack left-handed options. Beato, Hinojosa, Mariot, Murray and Ramos also have big league experience. Hanigan and Holaday will compete with Andrew Knapp to be Cameron Rupp's backup.

There are other bench jobs open, so a strong camp from players such as Nava could get them on the 25-man roster for Opening Day on April 3 in Cincinnati. Prospects such as Crawford, Hoskins and Kingery are expected to open the season in the Minor Leagues.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.