CLEARWATER, Fla. — When Mike Adams first heard the news, he paused. St. Louis pitcher Chris Carpenter had finally succumbed to the same condition — Thoracic Outlet Syndrome — Adams underwent surgery for months ago and his reaction was natural.
Adams, the Phillies' top free-agent acquisition, placed a call to Gregory Pearl, the doctor who performed his October surgery. Pearl informed Adams he also did Carpenter's surgery.
"The doctor told me he was a little upset he came back so quick," Adams said. "He pushed himself. The doctor told me take your time with it. Don't rush it."
Adams has followed that advice and said he is fully on schedule as camp opens. He has thrown off a mound three times and will do so again Thursday with the rest of his pitching group.
"I'm not behind in any way," said Adams, who signed a two-year, $12 million deal and will pitch the eighth inning.
He plans to delay his Grapefruit League debut simply because of this spring's length. Adams estimated he will not pitch until the second week of games. That, he said, is by design.
His first outing should come at the beginning of March.
"It has nothing to do with injury reasons," Adams said. "It's going to be a long spring training. There really is no reason to get 18 innings in the spring. We're going to save some bullets from the very beginning."
Adams was asked earlier this winter to pitch for the United States at the World Baseball Classic and accepted that invitation. But when the team's preliminary roster was unveiled, Adams was missing. He called for an explanation and heard from Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., who advised Adams to sit.
The reliever was fine with that rationale. Then, the U.S. recently came calling again when additional players reneged.
"I wanted to tell them yes," Adams said. "But I figured it's probably best if I just focus on the season and do what's best for the Phillies."
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