Phillies offer spring-training invitations to central Pa. player, Odubel Herrera

Cincinnati Reds' Travis Jankowski runs the bases against the Detroit Tigers in the sixth inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader in Detroit, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Philadelphia Phillies added to their outfield depth this week by offering spring-training invitations to Lancaster's Travis Jankowski and former All-Star Odubel Herrera.

The 29-year-old Jankowski got an invitation to the team's major-league camp but seems destined to start the season in triple A.

Herrera, however, could be more of a factor, just based on his major league track record. Herrera, who will earn $10 million this season, hasn’t played for the Phillies since 2019 when he was suspended under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

The charges against Herrera were dismissed but he was removed from the team’s 40-man roster last year and wasn’t part of the 60-player pool for the shortened season. He will report to the team’s minor league mini-camp.

Herrera is a .276 career hitter with 60 homers and 233 RBIs. 

Jankowski is a left-handed hitter who has played 41 major-league games over the last two seasons with San Diego and Cincinnati. Over parts of six big-league seasons, he has hit .238 with a .628 OPS, eight home runs, and 64 stolen bases in 350 games.

Jankowski attended Lancaster Catholic High before playing at Stony Brook. San Diego drafted him in 2012 with the 44th overall pick in the first round. He has played 120 games at triple A, where he hit .324 with a .792 OPS. Jankowski can play all three outfield positions.

Last week, the Phillies signed 36-year-old outfielder Matt Joyce to a minor-league deal with a spring-training invite. The left-handed hitter has a .790 OPS over the last two seasons with Atlanta and Miami.

The Phillies will begin spring training Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla., with center field being the lone starting role to be decided among position players. Adam Haseley, Scott Kingery and Roman Quinn are among the contenders after splitting time there last season. There is likely room for one more bench player to join catcher Andrew Knapp, utilityman Brad Miller, and the two players who do not start in center field.

Catcher Jeff Mathis signed a minor league deal with the Phillies on Tuesday and will join the major league camp. Mathis batted .161 in 24 games for Texas last season.

Other non-roster players invited to major league spring training include: pitchers Neftalí Feliz, Brandon Kintzler, Bryan Mitchell, Iván Nova, Héctor Rondón and Michael Ynoa; catchers Christian Bethancourt and Rodolfo Durán; infielder Ronald Torreyes and Joyce.