CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It certainly doesn't feel like baseball weather, but the majority of the Phillies' pitchers and catchers have reported here a day before the mandatory date. The only major-league pitchers absent on Tuesday were Jamie Moyer and Jose Contreras. Catcher Carlos Ruiz also has yet to show up.
Most of the pitchers worked on their own Tuesday in a very laid-back setting. The temperature was in the high 40s this morning with a stiff breeze at times. Some of the pitchers threw off a mound. Others played catch with one another. And more hit the weight room to avoid the cold.
The coaching staff met in the morning and then left for the annual Bill Giles Golf Tournament. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. watched some of the brief side sessions. J.A. Happ and Scott Mathieson, among others, threw on the side.
Mathieson, who said he feels as good as ever, marveled at Roy Halladay's training regimen. "There's a reason he's one of the best," Mathieson said.
News was light, but the most significant centered around left-handed reliever J.C. Romero, who said he expects to break camp with the Phillies after rehabbing from elbow surgery. Romero, who blamed some of his elbow troubles from pitching in last year's World Baseball Classic, said doctors told him he could be ready for game action by the second week of March.
If that's the case, Romero would have about two weeks to get ready, but said that wouldn't be a problem because he normally averages between seven and 12 spring training appearances.
Romero said he changed some of his offseason workout routine to build up strength in the arm -- including some yoga movements and regular visits to a chiropractor.
With Romero as the only established lefty in the bullpen, he said he understands his importance and is willing to take things slowly -- even if it means having to spend an extra week in Florida after the team leaves to start the regular season.
"I have to be smart, at the same time," Romero said. "This is a marathon. It's not a sprint. I don't want to do something to jeopardize my career or the rest of the season. "