Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Reporting for duty

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It's report day, which has become more of a symbolic event than anything else. Phillies pitchers and catchers were due in camp today, where they took their entry physicals, said hi and left for a golf tournament.

Reporting for duty

Roy Halladay gets in some long toss at Bright House Field in Clearwater. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay gets in some long toss at Bright House Field in Clearwater. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It's report day, which has become more of a symbolic event than anything else. Phillies pitchers and catchers were due in camp today, where they took their entry physicals, said hi and left for a golf tournament.

But many of the pitchers and catchers have been using the team's facilities for the last couple of weeks. Some of them (ahem, Roy Halladay) have been here since December. Monday is the first official workout, but a few pitchers did some throwing on the back fields.

It's chilly by Florida standard. The wind is blowing from left to right and the scoreboard shows a temperature of 63 degrees. No complaining here.

The media circus is already in full swing. As Halladay sat at his locker to -- gasp -- change from sneakers to cleats, the many TV cameras in the clubhouse filmed his every move. ESPN had a live setup on Sunday and a writer from Sports Illustrated is already tailing the team. There will be many, many more national outlets present for the press conference Monday.

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To bide the time until then, some notes from the first unofficial day:

-- All of the pitchers and catchers are present and accounted for. Carlos Ruiz briefly popped into the clubhouse with his trademark smile.

-- The only position players hanging around today were Chase Utley, John Mayberry Jr., Brian Bocock and Harold Garcia. 

-- Jimmy Rollins was not seen today, but he has been using the facilities in Clearwater over the last week. Why is that noteworthy? Well, Rollins almost never shows up before the mandatory date for position players.

A few Phillies officials made a point of noting Rollins' early arrival. One of them was hitting coach Greg Gross, who said he was surprised to see Rollins so early. He said Rollins appears to be in great shape.

Of course, there should be no shortage of motivation for Rollins, who is entering a contract year.

-- Both Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley will be stretched out as starters to begin the spring. As for what their roles may be later, that is undetermined. "It's out of my hands," Kendrick said.

-- Pitching coach Rich Dubee was a regular comedian today. When asked about how easy his job has become, he said, "I thought about bringing a recliner." He also thinks all five of his starters could pitch at least 200 innings.

-- Both Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson openly campaigned for the return of their former teammate and close friend Chad Durbin. Durbin remains an unsigned free agent and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has repeatedly said he doesn't foresee a deal happening. But Lidge does not think the door is closed.

FOXsports.com reported Sunday that Seattle is showing interest in Durbin, who reportedly has a few offers from non-contending teams.

-- Read Monday's Inquirer for full reports from both myself and Bob Brookover. Also, follow us on Twitter for some photos and insights from sunny Florida.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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