Today we announced another seven spring training roster moves along with the signing of RHP Shawn Hill.
Of the roster moves we made today, five of the seven players - Josh Geer, Scott Patterson, Matt Antonelli, Will Venable, and Joe Thatcher - spent part of the 2008 season in the big leagues, and I suspect that many of them will be in a position to appear again at some point in 2009. The other two players were first year 40-man roster catcher Jose Lobaton, and non-roster invite Chad Huffman, who had a terrific spring in his first Major League camp.
One thing to remember here is that even though the Opening Day roster carries some prestige, it is really just one out of 183 days in the season. We can change the roster the very next day, so it's not as though we're not setting a playoff roster that is locked for a period of time. We often forget how much our rosters change between March and September, but the reality is that any team's 25-man roster is usually composed of around 32-35 players who cycle in and out based on injuries and performance. Many of today's cuts will be among that group of 32-35.
Additionally, today we signed former Washington Nationals starter Shawn Hill to a minor league contract and invited him to big league camp. Shawn made his Major League debut in 2004, but he really established himself in 2007 going 97 innings over 16 starts with a 3.42 ERA. Having battled through some arm problems, Shawn has made 37 ML starts and compiled a 4.93 ERA.