02/10/09 1:54 PM EST
Rockies invite 20 non-roster players
Catcher Fasano signs Minor League deal to join Colorado camp
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
Fasano, 37, whose energetic play and bushy mustache have made connections with fans in the Majors and Minors, has played for nine teams, including the Royals twice. He appeared in 15 regular-season games with the Indians last season. Fasano also is a provisional member of the roster for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. Rockies right-handed pitcher Jason Grilli also is a member of Team Italy.
Fasano joins a crew of previously announced big league veterans in camp under non-roster deals -- pitchers Matt Belisle, Josh Fogg and Glendon Rusch; catcher Paul Phillips; infielder Luis A. Gonzalez; and outfielders Daniel Ortmeier and Scott Podsednik. The Rockies have a full 40-man Major League roster, plus 19 non-roster invitees.
Pitchers, catchers and World Baseball Classic participants are to report to Tucson, Ariz., by Friday, with the first workout scheduled for Sunday. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 19.
Some top prospects were among those who received non-roster invitations.
They include right-handed pitchers Jhoulys Chacin, who won 18 games at two Class A levels last year, and Brandon Hynick, who went 10-7 with a 4.44 ERA in 27 starts at Double-A Tulsa last year; catchers Michael McKenry, who hit .258 at Class A Modesto and hit .369 with nine home runs in 28 Arizona Fall League games, and Wilin Rosario, who hit .316 at rookie-level Casper; versatile infielder Christian Colonel, who batted .308 at Triple-A Colorado Springs; and outfielders Chris Frey, who hit .290 at Colorado Springs, and Matt Miller, who hit .344 at Tulsa and .331 at Colorado Springs in 139 total games.
The Spring Training roster also includes several number changes for returning players. Righty reliever Ryan Speier will wear No. 37 (instead of 23), third baseman Ian Stewart will wear No. 9 (instead of 24), left fielder Seth Smith will wear No. 7 (instead of 25), and outfielder Dexter Fowler will wear No. 24 (instead of 14). Fogg, who wore No. 37 for the club in 2006 and 2007, is wearing 51 in camp.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.