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Pitching prospects lead spring invitees

Pitching prospects lead Spring Training invitees

PHILADELPHIA -- Top pitching prospects Joe Savery, Carlos Carrasco and Josh Outman head a group of 18 players who received invitations to Spring Training as non-roster players with the Phillies.

The group also includes former first-round Draft pick Greg Golson, third-round pick Jason Donald and the following players with Major League experience: Vic Darensbourg, Gary Knotts, Valentino Pascucci, Andy Tracy and Brandon Watson.

Here is more information about the players who received invitations:

Savery, LHP: The organization's first-round selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft will be attending his first Major League Spring Training. He made seven starts for low Class A Williamsport last season, going 2-3 with a 2.73 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .214 average. In five starts for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, the 22-year-old went 1-1 with a 0.64 ERA, allowing only four hits in 14 innings. Savery held opponents to an .091 batting average.

Golson, OF: The 22-year-old split the 2007 season between advanced Class A Clearwater and Double-A Reading, hitting a combined .273 with 32 doubles, 15 homers, 68 RBIs and 30 steals in 136 games. A first-round selection by the Phillies in the 2004 Draft, Golson played for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League following the season.

Donald, SS: A third-round choice by the Phillies in 2006, Donald hit a combined .304 with 31 doubles, eight triples, 12 homers and 71 RBIs between Class A Lakewood and Class A Clearwater. He finished with the third-best average among the organization's Minor Leaguers.

Carrasco, RHP: At age 20, Carrasco went a combined 12-6 with a 3.86 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) for Class A Clearwater and Double-A Reading, including two shutouts and a six-inning no-hitter on Aug. 21 against Altoona. A native of Venezuela, Carrasco held Minor League hitters to a .224 average, allowing only 114 hits in 140 innings. In his previous two seasons, he went 24-12 with a 3.01 ERA and four complete games in 52 appearances (51 starts).

Mike Cervenak, 1B: Cervenak played for Triple-A Norfolk in 2007 and led the International League in hits (157), games (140) and at-bats (554). For the season, he batted .283 with 15 home runs and 78 RBIs. Cervenak, 31, has played in the Minor League systems of the Yankees (2000-02), Giants (2003-06) and Orioles (2007).

Ron Chiavacci, RHP: In 26 games (23 starts) for Triple-A Toledo in 2007, Chiavacci went 12-6 with a 3.39 ERA. He went 11-2 from May 25 through the end of the season and pitched at least six innings in 18 of 23 starts. A native of Scranton, Pa., Chiavacci originally was selected by the Expos in the 44th round of the 1998 Draft.

Darensbourg, LHP: Darensbourg, 37, spent the 2007 season with Triple-A Toledo and went 6-2 with a 1.72 ERA in 50 games. In 52 1/3 innings, he didn't allow a home run. He pitched for Magnalles of the Venezuelan Winter League and went 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA in 17 appearances. Darensbourg has spent eight seasons in the Major Leagues with the Marlins (1998-2002), Rockies (2003), Expos (2003), White Sox (2004), Mets (2004) and Tigers (2005), going 8-17 with two saves and a 4.96 ERA in 309 appearances, all in relief.

Tuffy Gosewisch, C: An 11th-round selection by the Phillies in 2005, Gosewisch played for Class A Lakewood and hit .224 with five homers and 45 RBIs in 92 games. In the Arizona Fall League, he batted .250 with one home run and six RBIs in 14 games for Peoria.

Tim Gradoville, C: Gradoville, 27, appeared in a combined 54 games for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Ottawa in 2007.

Brennan King, 3B: King will be in camp with the Phillies for the second straight year. The 26-year-old spent 2007 with Triple-A Ottawa, where he hit .277 with 10 home runs and 59 RBIs in 122 games.

Gary Knotts, RHP: Knotts, 30, was signed by the Phillies as a Minor League free agent last August, and he pitched at Double-A and Triple-A for the organization. He went a combined 2-4 with a 3.20 ERA in six starts, including three complete games and two shutouts, one of which was a one-hitter. In 86 career Major League games (38 starts), Knotts is 13-16 with a 5.45 ERA for the Marlins (2001-02) and Tigers (2003-04).

Lou Marson, C: Marson spent the entire 2007 season with Class A Clearwater, batting .288 with 24 doubles, seven home runs and 63 RBIs in 111 games.

Brian Mazone, LHP: Mazone began the 2007 season in the Phillies organization at Triple-A Ottawa and made six starts (3-2, 2.21 ERA) before having his contract sold to the Samsung Lions of the Korean League. In 2006, he led the International League with a 2.03 ERA for the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Outman, LHP: Outman, 23, split the 2007 between Class A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. Overall, he went 12-7 with a 2.99 ERA in 27 games (25 starts), including a six-inning no-hitter for Clearwater on July 7. He led all Phillies Minor Leaguers with 151 strikeouts. After the season, Outman pitched for both Peoria in the Arizona Fall League and the World Cup-winning Team USA., going a combined 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA in five games (three starts). He had 13 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.

Valentino Pascucci, OF/1B: Pascucci finished third among all Minor Leaguers in 2007 with 34 home runs for Triple-A Albuquerque. He also hit .284 with 27 doubles and 98 RBIs in 132 games. Pascucci, 29, appeared in 32 Major League games for Montreal in 2004.

Casey Smith, INF: For Triple-A Salt Lake, the 28-year-old Smith hit .290 with two home runs, 53 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 109 games. He batted .379 (36-95) in his final 25 games of the season.

Andy Tracy, 1B/3B: Tracy, 34, spent parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues with the Expos (2000-01) and Rockies (2004). In his rookie season of 2000, he hit .260 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs for Montreal. Last season, Tracy, a left-handed hitter, played for Triple-A New Orleans and hit .271 with 23 home runs and 87 RBIs in 135 games. He's currently playing for Licey in the Dominican Winter League.

Brandon Watson, OF: Watson made news in 2007 with his 43-game hitting streak for Triple-A Columbus. For the season, he hit .313 with two home runs, 29 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 103 games. The 26-year-old had a brief call-up with Washington in June, when he batted .278 in five games. Originally a ninth-round selection by Montreal in the 1999 Draft, Watson has appeared in 24 Major League games over parts of three seasons (2005-07) with Washington and Cincinnati.

Laforest agrees: Catcher Pete Laforest agreed to terms on a split contract for 2008. He'll earn the minimum $390,000 at the Major League side.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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