Flash in Clearwater

June 6, 2007

CLEARWATER—No games today in this Florida west coast city.

The Class A Threshers bussed to Daytona at 9:30 this morning for a four-game series.  Last night, prospects LHP Joshua Outman, SS Jason Donald and CF Greg Golson led the Threshers to an 8-0 win over the Palm Beach Cardinals at Bright House Networks Field.

Outman improved to 5-3, Donald hit a three-run homer in his second Clearwater game since being promoted from Lakewood, and Golson also homered.

Next door at Carpenter Field, the players who are in extended spring training worked out on two fields and then some of them climbed aboard an 11:30 a.m. bus for St. Petersburg and an afternoon game against the Devil Rays.   Those not on the traveling roster, worked out on Ashburn Field.

Players in the extended program are those who didn’t make the rosters of the Phillies’ four full-season clubs in early April.  In 13 days, two Phillies’ short-season teams, Williamsport (New York-Penn League) and the Gulf Coast Phillies, will begin their seasons.  The Gulf Coast team will play at Carpenter Field.

A total of 44 players are in the extended spring training program.

Also in Clearwater are 15 players who are rehabbing from injuries.  Brian Cammarota, minor league athletic trainers and rehabilitation coordinator, oversees a staff that works daily with the injured players.  Most of the work is done in the Bright House Networks Field training and weight room areas.

Biggest name among the 15 is Tom Gordon, the Phillies closer.  He’s on a program of throwing 75-80 pitches a day for five days.  Cammarota will even put on the catching gear and catch Gordon.  “You get a different perspective when you are catching.  So far, I’m OK, but ‘Flash’ is getting to the point where I’ll bow out and a regular catcher will step in.  I’m not totally crazy, you know.”

Following a weight room workout, Gordon said “I’m getting closer.  I’m feeling much better physically than I have in a long time.”  You may remember, in addition to being disabled May 24 with a right rotator cuff inflammation, Gordon spent nearly five days in a Philly hospital with an upper respiratory ailment that flattened him.  He lost weight but is on the road to recovery.

The rehab group also includes Scott Mathieson and Kyle Drabek.  Mathieson is recovering from Tommy John surgery from last September and Drabek is rehabbing a tender right elbow.  Kyle has two more days here before he returns to the Lakewood rotation next Tuesday.

And, there’s a named Schmidt.  No, not Michael Jack, but Daniel, a left-handed pitcher from Australia.

Tomorrow’s the annual First-Year Player Draft, day one, starting at 2 in the afternoon on ESPN2.

The draft will also impact what goes on in Clearwater next week.  More about that on Friday.

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