Confidence-boosting homer for Feliz

Confidence-boosting homer for Feliz

PHILADELPHIA -- It's not uncommon for a player to struggle offensively in the early part of the season.

Especially when that player signs a lucrative free-agent contract.

Such was the case for third baseman Pedro Feliz, who inked a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the Phillies on Jan. 31, after a successful stint with the Giants from 2000-07.

The power-hitting Feliz managed just seven hits in his first 36 at-bats with the Phillies (.194). But he laced a solo home run off Mets starter John Maine in the seventh inning of Thursday's 4-3 loss in 12 innings. It was the first homer for Feliz with his new team.

"It felt good," said Feliz, who arrived at Citizens Bank Park on Friday to discover he was getting the night off in favor of Greg Dobbs. "I've been feeling better and better lately."

Feliz hit .253 with 20 homers and 72 RBIs for the Giants last season. His 20 home runs marked four consecutive seasons with 20 or more.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel believes that Feliz's first home run should boost his confidence.

"I'm sure it did," Manuel said. "When Pedro is aggressive at the plate and kind of loads up, then he's got more quickness in his bat and more pop. When he really learns to be consistent doing that, he's going to be a real good hitter."

Andy Jasner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.