Pedro Feliz was in town yesterday to have Phillies physician Michael Ciccotti examine his lower back. Feliz had surgery on the back after last season.
Everything looks good so far.
"We're pleased with his progress," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He has made good progress."
Amaro said Feliz probably wouldn't be ready to play in the team's first spring training game Feb. 25, but could be ready shortly thereafter. He also expects Feliz to be ready to go come April 3 for Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park. If not, the Phillies have a few options in Eric Bruntlett, Greg Dobbs and Jason Donald.
There has been no recent progress on finding a righthanded bat for the bench.
Ryan Madson changed his number from 63 to 46. I'm sure there's a story behind it. I'm guessing one reason is that Madson hated being on the opposite end of the clubhouse during spring training in Clearwater. For those who don't know, lockers typically are arranged numerically during spring training. And because Madson wore 63, it meant he was situated next to non-roster invitees and minor-leaguers who had little to no chance of making the team. Now he'll likely be positioned near J.A. Happ (43) and Scott Eyre (47).
Carlos Ruiz will compete for Panama in the World Baseball Classic. This should make the battle between Chris Coste and Ronny Paulino to be his back up a little more interesting because they will be getting more playing time this spring.
Well, this is it. My last day after nine-plus years at The Inquirer is Sunday, so unless there is breaking news over the weekend (i.e. Ryan Howard signs a multi-million dollar contract extension or the Phillies finally sign that righthanded bat) this is my final post for The Phillies Zone.
Writing that is very surreal.
I'll try to keep this short and sweet, but I just want to say thanks to everybody who has checked us out over the past couple years. It's been great fun. We started as The Zo Zone on April 20, 2007, when the Phillies were a scintillating 3-10. Who knew then the Phillies not only would win the National League East that year, but win the World Series a year later? We switched to The Phillies Zone on Feb. 25, 2008, and you guys made it one of the most popular blogs at philly.com. Thanks to you for that. Because I knew you guys were coming here every day, I made sure to update this thing as much as possible. Hopefully you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Fortunately for you, I know Inquirer sports editor Jim Cohen is going to find a stellar Phillies beat writer to take over. Fortunately for me, I'm not going very far, so I'll still be writing about the Phillies. So if you see me in Clearwater or Philly or anywhere else this year, don't be afraid to say hello.
Thanks again for everything.