Utley: 'I definitely think we can contend'
Mike Adams pitched in 28 games for the Phillies last season before having surgery for a shoulder injury. (USA Today Images)
The Phillies have their fingers crossed that they will get something back on their $12 million investment in reliever Mike Adams in 2014.
Adams came to the Phils as one of the premier setup men in baseball last season, but pitched in just 28 games and none after June 19 because of a shoulder injury that required surgery in late July.
According to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., Adams is progressing well in his recovery.
“He’s throwing four times a week and will start throwing bullpens toward the end of the month,” Amaro said. “He’s doing great. He’s had no setbacks. He feels good, no issues.”
Adams will be behind the rest of the group at the start of spring training and likely will not be ready for the start of the season, but Amaro is hopeful that he will contribute sooner rather than later.
“We’ll know more when he gets to camp and starts throwing bullpens,” Amaro said.
With Jake Diekman beginning to blossom late last season and Antonio Bastardo returning from a PED suspension, Amaro believes the Phillies “have a chance to have some quality” toward the back of the bullpen.
“If Adams is healthy or can be eventually -- you can’t count on it, but that would be nice,” Amaro said.
Will they return?
Former manager Charlie Manuel has had a longstanding job offer from the club, but has yet to accept or reject.
“We’re hopeful of having a resolution in the next week or so,” Amaro said.
Manuel was fired as manager in August. The Phillies would like him to remain in the organization and work with minor-league hitters and serve as a consultant.
The Phillies would also like to see recently retired Roy Halladay stay in the organization. It’s possible that Halladay could work as an instructor in spring training.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen yet,” Amaro said. “I think he may have some interest. We have interest.”
Getting to know you
New pitching coach Bob McClure has been spending time at the Phillies’ spring training facility in Clearwater getting acquainted with Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. Gonzalez has been working out at the facility for a week. The Cuban defector remains a bit of a mystery, but the Phillies hope he will fill a spot in their rotation. Gonzalez's progress will be one of the biggest storylines in camp.
Teams will exchange 2014 salary proposals with players eligible for salary arbitration on Friday. The Phils have four arbitration-eligible players -- pitchers Kyle Kendrick and Bastardo and outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry Jr.
Phillies officials have been negotiating with all four players and Amaro is hopeful that agreements can be reached before the arbitration process heats up.