Comcast's Leslie Gudel reports that the third baseman, who underwent off-season back surgery, may not be ready for the start of the season, putting him behind the timetable originally stated at the time of his surgery.
Gudel updated Feliz's progress tonight on SportsNight and quoted
manager Charlie Manuel on CSNPhilly.com. "It's gonna be close," Manuel
told Gudel. "We'll see what our trainers say." Feliz, who arrived in
camp today, told Gudel that he hopes to be ready by the April 5th opener.
Bracing for the possibility that Feliz may not be ready, the Phillies
signed utilityman Miguel Cairo to a minor league contract yesterday and
continue to hold conversations with Nomar Garciaparra. In a separate
report, Gudel sat down with pitcher Brett Myers, who admitted to showing up out
of shape and mentally unprepared to return to the rotation last season
out of frustration for having been stripped of his job as closer.
Beerleaguer: Insightful reporting by Leslie Gudel tonight. She offered at least three tidbits that could be expanded into feature-length articles. Not to be forgotten, she also quoted Manuel as saying if the season started today, he'd carry three catchers.
First, Feliz. No surprise here. Chase Utley is going to be just fine; all this Miguel Cairo-Pablo Ozuna-Nomar-Ty Wiggington-Rich Aurilia business pointed to problems at third all along. The good news is that third has become a defense-first position for the Phils and they have plenty of good-glove, no-hit help to consider in camp. Still, for all his faults, I'm not trilled by the prospect of Feliz, a very steady defender and one of the few guys who can hit left-handed pitching consistently, staying on the sidelines in April. On to Myers. I like what I heard in the interview; if it becomes available on Comcast's Web site, check it out for yourself. The demotion did the trick. Mentally, he appears to be cleansed of the closer residue of '07.