STARTERS: 2020 Non-roster invitees

Non-roster invitees (NRI) in spring camps are guys who are not already on their team's 40-man rosters. They can include veterans who are looking to latch on to a new team, as well as top prospects who don't have a day of service time in the major leagues.

Most NRI starting pitchers won't have an impact this season, but those that do can generate a lot of profit for you, because you'll be able to get them for nothing.

Let's take a look at this spring's most interesting group of SP non-roster invitees who are not top prospects but could make an impact in 2020.
 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Domingo Acevedo (RHP, NYY) was given a 9D rating back in mid-2018 as one of NYY's better prospects. He transitioned to a relief role in the minors over the last couple of seasons. Still, he did show excellent command as a SP in the minors, and at age 26, it's too early to write him off completely.

Zach Godley (RHP, DET) looked like a budding SP2 a few seasons ago with ARI. His skills and results have deteriorated ever since. That said, he still misses bats at a decent clip, and he did show a pretty extreme groundball tilt earlier in his career. He's worth monitoring this spring.

Luiz Gohara (LHP, LAA) is a former top LHP pitching prospect that garnered an impressive 9C rating from our prospect team back in 2018. When healthy, he has an overpowering fastball/slider combo. Problem is, he has struggled with shoulder problems that have prevented him from turning his upside into results. He's still plenty young enough (age 23) to get his career back on track though. Gohara carries some intriguing post-hype appeal.


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NATIONAL LEAGUE

Jake Faria (RHP, MIL) generated whiffs at a really high rate during his MLB debut back in 2017. He was hampered by an oblique issue for most of 2018, and in 2019, he was relegated to bullpen work. While Faria is a long shot to make an impact now, keep in mind that he's still just 26. And he did own an excellent 13% SwK% and 79% FpK% in a tiny data sample during the 2019 season.

Felix Hernandez (RHP, ATL) is getting a fresh start as a non-roster invitee in ATL camp. His skills haven't been roster-worthy for a while, as his once mid-90s fastball now struggles to reach 90 mph. Still, Hernandez did flash an impressive 120 BPV during his first eight starts of 2019. While he didn't miss many bats, he pounded the strike zone and kept the ball on the ground. That's his path to value now.

Derek Holland (LHP, PIT) seemingly is a non-roster invitee every season. He'll get a shot to break camp with PIT in 2020. Optimistic owners will point to his 3.57 ERA and 1.29 WHIP as a SP in 2018. Problem is, it was surrounded by three years of a 5.00+ xERA. And at age 33, the hope for something more has faded.

Ubaldo Jimenez (RHP, COL) enters 2020 camp with COL as one of the more familiar non-roster invitees in the game. However, he hasn't pitched in the majors since 2017. Likewise, we haven't seen a double-digit swinging strike rate from him since way back in 2010. If he's going to resurrect his career, the only hope is for him doing so in a relief role.

Shelby Miller (RHP, MIL) is another former talented arm that will try to crack an MLB roster coming out of camp. Miller hasn't been healthy enough to pitch on a regular basis since 2016. And when he did pitch, he struggled to find the plate and miss bats. He's another arm that likely is a better fit in a relief role.

Tyson Ross (RHP, SF) was an emerging rotation arm from 2013 to 2015, seasons in which he posted a 100+ BPV due to an ability to miss bats and keep the ball on the ground. Shoulder and elbow injuries have haunted him ever since, and those injuries have caused his stuff to take a step backwards. He's worth monitoring in the spring, but you shouldn't roster him without a reserve list.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.