Busy day here at Bright House Field. I caught up with Pedro Feliz an hour ago and the third baseman said he did participate in some sliding drills today and that he felt fine afterward. Feliz is scheduled to appear in a simulated game Wednesday, although Charlie Manuel said in his post-game press conference that he could potentially play in the Grapefruit League game that day against the Braves.
If Feliz is able to get back healthy, it would lessen the need for prospect Jason Donald to play at third base. But Donald has been sizzling lately. Today, he went 3-for-4, raising his spring average to .320 (he started the spring 2-for-15).
"He's swinging good, very good," Manuel said of Donald. "He's been doing a good job. He's been playing very well defensively and the last two to three days he's been swinging the bat better."
Two of Donald's base hits went straight up the middle, a good sign that he is finding his swing. Manuel had pulled him aside last week and told him that he was pressing. Donald agreed with that assessment and seems to have discovered his groove.
Ryan Howard hit his fourth home run of the spring today, while Geoff Jenkins chipped in with his first. Raul Ibanez added an RBI on an infield single.
Chris Coste on his one at-bat: "It was fine. I've done enough baserunning over the past few days that I didn't have much doubt about it."
Coste said he is 100 percent physically.
"The bat doesn't feel 100 percent," he said, "but as far as health and base-running, I feel really good."
Rule 5 pick Robert Mosebach was impressive today, throwing all eight of his pitches for strikes.
Tomorrow is an off day, but we'll have some good stuff in Wednesday's paper anyway. Because, you know, that's what we do.
Here's one from the only in Clearwater file: I'm standing next to Daily News chat room All-Star Paul Hagen during batting practice, and up walks a guy wearing a hat, sunglasses, shorts and white athletic socks. Fairly non-descript dude, wearing typical spring training clothing. He has a little bit of stubble on his face.
"Hey Keith," Hagen says.
"Hey Paul," the guy says.
They talk for a few minutes, and I start to get the feeling that I've heard the voice before. I look at the face again. It's Keith Olbermann. He's a big baseball fanatic, and he decided to drop by. I don't think he had any specific purpose. He watched the first few innings from the press box, then went outside to sit while drinking a smoothie from the concession stands. He kept score the entire time in a regulation scorebook. I'm hoping he names Hagen the Worst Person in the World on his next show, but I don't think it's going to happen. I would have done a Q and A with him, but I was too busy chasing down information on stuff like Chris Coste's hamstring and Pedro Feliz's back. Besides, I didn't want this blog post to turn into a partisan hissing match.
I don't expect any more news today. Then again, those are the usual days when it happens.