Golf day

Jose Contreras threw to hitters for the first time this spring on Thursday. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — It's the slowest time in Phillies camp, the day when the workout is shortened so players, coaches and staff can leave early for the annual Bill Giles golf tournament. Grapefruit League games are still two days away, so we are truly in the stagnant stage.

Here are some small tidbits to help pass the time:

>>> Jose Contreras threw to hitters for the first time this spring. He tossed a full live batting practice session and did so without any apparent issues. Contreras (September elbow surgery) is not scheduled to pitch in the first week of games, but he could appear soon after that.

The 40-year-old also made sure to park his big truck elsewhere Thursday after it was pelted by a Domonic Brown batting practice home-run ball. A harsh lesson.

>>> Ryan Howard was not present at camp Thursday. A Phillies official said Howard needs time for his newest wound to heal and there was no sense in him coming to the complex where there is nothing to accomplish.

The team has yet to establish a timetable for when he could resume his rehab activities.

>>> Justin De Fratus is scheduled for a Friday appointment with team physician Michael Ciccotti. De Fratus has not thrown in camp because of elbow soreness he developed over the winter. Team officials have increasing pessimism about his condition. He'll likely undergo an MRI as a part of the examination.

>>> Watched Scott Podsednik practice drag bunting early in the morning with Tyson Gillies and Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg set up a pitching machine to simulate fastballs and Podsednik was able to place almost all of his drag bunts in the same spot — no man's land on the deep grass between the mound and first base. Baseball porn for bunt aficionados.

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