Ngoepe will head to minor-league camp Tuesday, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports. Unsurprisingly, Ngoepe won't be able to crack the Opening Day roster. With a .181/.272/.236 line in 82 big-league plate appearances, there's no guarantee the Phillies will look to him when injuries strike their infield.
Ngoepe arrived at Phillies camp Saturday morning, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Ngoepe's start to the spring was delayed by visa issues, but those have apparently been cleared up, and he is ready to make a push for a spot on the Phillies' Opening Day roster.
Ngoepe has yet to arrive at Phillies camp while he waits to secure a travel visa, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports. Ngoepe was already facing an uphill battle to win an Opening Day bench role with the Phillies by virtue of being a non-roster invitee, and the missed time to begin camp won't help his case. He'll likely be withheld from the Phillies' first handful of Grapefruit League contests until his visa issues are resolved.
Ngoepe signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies on Friday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Ngoepe made it further than any African-born player ever had when he made his big-league debut for the Pirates in 2017, though he hasn't done much in his limited major-league opportunities. In a short stint for Pittsburgh that season and an even shorter one in Toronto last year, the infielder has hit just .181/.272/.236 in 82 plate appearances. He'll fill an organizational depth role in Philadelphia this season and is unlikely to receive more than a handful of at-bats.
Ngoepe signed a contract with the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League, John Lott of The Athletic Toronto reports. Ngoepe was released by the Blue Jays earlier in the month after hitting just .168/.304/.252 across 48 games with Triple-A Buffalo. The Blue Sox's season starts in November and wraps up in February, so he could latch on with a major-league team before spring training next season.