If he feels fine Wednesday, the Phillies can tweak his schedule and target him to pitch April 7
or 8 in Miami against the Marlins, allowing the right-hander to stay in a warmer climate until
In that scenario, Garcia would likely start the regular season on the disabled list -- he can be
placed there retroactively to March 22 (or 10 days). Such a maneuver would allow the Phillies to carry an extra player, either a reliever or outfielder Michael Bourn.
The rest of the rotation begins with Brett Myers starting on Monday, Opening Day. After an off-day, it's Cole Hamels
for April 4, Adam Eaton on April 5 and Jamie Moyer on April 6. Myers could then come back on regular
rest for the April 7 contest, with Garcia making his Phillies debut April 8 -- or vice versa if the
Phillies want Myers to get an extra day of rest.
The plan takes a different turn if Garcia doesn't feel right Wednesday, and the Phillies are
preparing Zack Segovia for a start just in case. Regardless, the Phillies remain encouraged Garcia will
make his first turn in the rotation.
"He's feeling better, which is good," Dubee said.
While Garcia is feeling better, Jon Lieber doesn't know what's next, and the Phillies don't expect him
to be on their Opening Day roster.
"We're hopeful, but not optimistic," Amaro said.
Lieber, who strained his right oblique muscle swinging a bat Saturday, will test it by
playing catch Wednesday.
Should Lieber begin the season on the DL, Jim Ed Warden and Clay Condrey would likely make
the 25-man roster.
Bench shaping up:
With Chris Coste's strained right hamstring hurting and Greg Dobbs hitting, the two available bench spots appear clear as well.
Dobbs and Karim Garcia are in, joining Jayson Werth and Abraham Nunez. If Carlos Ruiz's shoulder
allows, he's in too, making up a five-man bench, six if Bourn sticks for the season's first week.
Should Ruiz not be able to play, the Phillies could opt for catcher Jason Jaramillo as the
backup, leaving Bourn in the Minors.
Ramon Henderson had an emotional moment before Tuesday's game, as the longtime Phillies employee was recognized as the recipient of the inaugural John Vukovich Award.
The accolade will be presented to a member of the organization's instructional staff, Majors or Minors, who exemplifies Vuk's characteristics of being a fierce competitor, having a terrific work ethic and showing loyalty and honesty.
News and features:
Spring Training info:
Coste wants to stay in Philly: 350K
Howard on final week of camp: 350K
Florida coach Meyer visits Phils: 350K
Hamels on his recent Minors start: 350K
Gordon talks about getting a ring: 350K
"I can see him saying, 'Congratulations, Mexican,'" Henderson said, joking about Vukovich's nickname for him, despite his Dominican heritage. "I'm sure he's looking down at me, proud."
Henderson has spent 25 years with the Phillies as a player or coach, the last 10 on the big-league level. When Henderson was dismissed with manager Terry Francona after the 2000 season, Vukovich lobbied new manager Larry Bowa to retain Henderson, and Henderson never forgot the gesture.
As he spoke, he glanced at the black patch on his right arm, to commemorate Vukovich, who passed away March 8.
"I want to get some extra patches," Henderson said. "I may not be able to wear it on the outside [during the season], but I will always have a place for him here," he said, pointing to his heart.
"The only reason he liked me was because I disagreed with everything he said," he said.
Thanks a lot, Jon:
Farmhand William Savage was one of five Minor Leaguers who dressed for Tuesday
night's game, and he came telling a funny story.
Working on a walk-less spring, the control specialist had a 3-1 count on a hitter at a Carpenter
Complex game, when Lieber arrived in his monster truck. The players' parking lot is just behind the
Savage went into his windup. Just before releasing the ball, Lieber's horn went off -- perhaps a
result of the doors locking -- and Savage airmailed a pitch for ball four.
Phillies players were having fun with Savage in the clubhouse, and had the rook write an "angry"
letter to Lieber demanding an apology.
"I should get something for that," Savage said.
Werth made his second Grapefruit League appearance at catcher in the eighth
inning Friday. ... Ryan Howard went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, lowering his spring average to .203. He is in a 1-for-25 slide and has struck out 23 times in 59 at-bats, or once in every 2.57 at-bats. ... Geoff Geary made his first appearance since March 15 and tossed a scoreless eighth inning. He had been out
with a strained left hamstring. Tuesday's attendance of 7,789 pushed the Phillies' spring total to 115,066, a new Clearwater record for the team.
Myers is scheduled to make his final Grapefruit League start Wednesday
afternoon against the Devil Rays. The right-hander will likely reach 100 pitches as he prepares to open
the regular season on April 2. He will be opposed by Scott Kazmir in the 1:05 p.m. ET contest.