Improving third base was one of Gillick's concerns this offseason, after Nunez batted .211. Aramis Ramirez was never really an option, and former University of Pennsylvania quarterback Mark DeRosa signed a three-year deal with the Cubs earlier this week.Helms batted .385 after the All-Star break. He was especially impressive at Citizens Bank Park, where he went 6-for-14 (.429) with three doubles, a home run and five walks. "I've made adjustments," he said of the past two years. "I've always been a guy that expected too much of myself and tried to do too much. I think I got smarter as my career went on." Last year, especially, Helms tried to wait on the ball a little longer, and concentrated on driving the ball to right field. He feels that his improved plate approach and shorter stroke led to a higher batting average. He said his approach won't change in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, where fly balls to left become home runs. "It might have affected me a few years ago," he said. "My thing as a player now is, I don't have an ego. Yeah, I want to do well, but I want to do well for the team. When it comes down to it, I'm not going to try to hit a home run when we need a single to win the game. I've learned that over the years. I know the ball flies out of here -- home runs are going to come by accident. My approach is going to be to get on base." Watching the Phillies from the other dugout last season, Helms remarked to his wife, Meredith, that the Phillies could be an ideal landing spot this time around. David Bell was already gone, and the team would likely be looking to upgrade at the position. He said that he selected the Phillies over the Yankees -- who offered two years and more guaranteed money to play first base -- because he thought his family would be happier in Philadelphia. Also factoring into his decision was his desire to stay in the National League. "From the beginning, I definitely wanted to stay in the National League," he said. "I know all the pitchers. I know all the hitters. I know where to play them in the field. From everyone I know who's ever switched leagues, it's an adjustment period. I feel it's a more comfortable place. I think it's better for my family. I had to take care of them. I just feel they'll be happier [in Philadelphia] than in New York."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.