CLEARWATER, Fla. — Thirty-four of the 35 pitchers and catchers have reported to Phillies camp for the beginning of spring training. The lone absentee is righthander Chad Qualls, who was excused for personal reasons.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he expects Qualls to report Tuesday. Qualls signed a one-year, $1.15 million deal late in the offseason and could challenge for the primary setup role behind Jonathan Papelbon.
More than a few position players have reported early. Among them: Chase Utley, Hunter Pence, John Mayberry Jr., Ty Wigginton, Jim Thome, Domonic Brown and Juan Pierre. Ryan Howard has also spent a significant time in Florida but was not present Sunday.
Thome, most noticeably, was looking svelte. The 41-year-old wants to play first base and to do that, he spent a great deal of the winter pushing his body.
- Antonio Bastardo is the owner of a new Rolex, courtesy of Jonathan Papelbon. Bastardo surrendered his No. 58 for Papelbon, who calls himself Cinco Ocho and signed for $50,000,058.
- Some other non-roster players have reported early, too. They include Tyson Gillies, Kevin Frandsen, Pete Orr (now rightfully wearing No. 4), Scott Podsednik and Harold Garcia.
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