Moyer takes the mound and pitches

Posted: February 19, 2010

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Whatever schedule the Phillies had in mind for Jamie Moyer's rehabilitation from three surgeries and a blood infection this off-season needs to be revised.

Moyer threw off a mound yesterday for the first time since last season and threw the same number of pitches as the rest of the pitchers.

But neither Dubee nor manager Charlie Manuel would say whether the competition for the fifth starter's spot between Moyer and Kyle Kendrick is open - or if it's Moyer's to lose.

"I don't think we've even discussed it yet amongst the staff," Dubee said. "I have my opinion, other people have their opinions, and when we want to discuss it we'll let you know."

Added Manuel: "That hasn't come up. We're getting way ahead."

Dubee said just getting Moyer on the mound for day one was a surprise.

"He's probably ahead of schedule in what we thought he might be able to do," Dubee said. "We weren't sure he was going to be able to get on the mound this quickly."

Moyer, 47, said he was so excited for the first day of camp that he couldn't sleep the night before. After taking the mound, he said, he felt healthy.

"I've been to this rodeo before," Moyer said. "It's fun to come to camp. It's fun to come to spring training. It never gets old."

Moyer was held out of pitchers' fielding practice but did some other agility drills. Dubee thinks Moyer has a good chance of being ready for opening day.

"We got him moving and got him to make easy cuts, just to see where the knee was, and he passed those great," Dubee said. "The schedule will change. It all depends on how quick he progresses, how much we think he can handle at a certain time."

Polanco arrives early. Placido Polanco, the Phillies' new third baseman, obviously knows his way around the clubhouse, having spent parts of four seasons with the organization from 2002 to 2005.

But he arrived six days early to get a feel for his new team - and to continue his focus on the transition from second base to third.

Polanco said he generally reported to camp a couple of days early, but not this soon. Even though he has spent much of the off-season taking extra work at third base in South Florida, Polanco wanted to have some time with the Phillies' coaching staff.

"I'll focus on whatever it is they want me to do," Polanco said. "The off-season is over. You start getting into a habit. It's always good to show up a week early."

Praise for Contreras. Manuel said the one pitcher who stood out on the first day of workouts was Jose Contreras and his splitter.

"He looks to be in real good shape, strong looking," Manuel said of the 38-year-old righthander. "He's the one that jumped out at me [yesterday]. He's definitely got a good chance to help us."

Extra bases. When asked if Roy Halladay would be his opening day starter, Manuel answered with a joke. "I'd kind of go out on limb and say that," Manuel said. . . . Dubee agreed with the timetables Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero provided. Lidge expects to pitch off a mound in a week and Romero said he could be ready for game action by the second week of March. . . . The Phillies sold more than 45,000 tickets within nine hours yesterday after individual tickets went on sale.

Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at 215-854-2928 or mgelb@phillynews.com.

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