Richard Durrett blogs that the Rangers are bringing Eric Hurley, Thomas Diamond, Nate Gold, and Kevin Richardson to the major league spring training camp in February.
Hurley and Diamond aren't surprises, but Gold and Richardson are mildly surprising. Richardson, I guess, isn't that big of a deal, given that you generally need a bunch of catchers around early in spring training so pitchers can get their work in.
But Gold getting an invite, after his huge Frisco campaign, is sort of a big deal. Gold hadn't really done much before 2006, and he's too old to have been in AA last year, but I think that big campaign has folks interested to see what he can do against a higher caliber of pitching, and has the Rangers wanting to take a closer look at him.
Also...isn't the notion of an "invitation" to spring training kind of a weird bit of terminology?
Everyone talks about "non-roster invitees", and about so-and-so getting an "invitation" to the major league spring training camp.
But is it really an "invitation"? Saying that you are inviting someone somewhere seems to suggest that you'd like them there, but they are free to decline to show up. Eric Hurley or Thomas Diamond (or Matt Kata, for that matter, another NRI) can't exactly call the Rangers and say, "Thanks for thinking of me, but I'm going to pass on showing up to the major league camp for spring training."
I guess this is just sort of an idiom that has become part of the baseball vernacular, but regardless, it is kind of weird, and I'm wondering why that particular phrase is the one always used.