Notes: Bergeron, Coste chasing dream

Notes: Bergeron, Coste chasing dream

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Peter Bergeron and Chris Coste represent the stories that come up every spring.

Bergeron, 28, is the guy who has had a taste of the Major Leagues in parts of five seasons, totaling 308 games. But the outfielder hasn't been in a big-league clubhouse since 2004.

Coste is the guy who's never worn a Major League uniform, and the infielder clings to the dream that it may happen one day.

"I'm 33. I don't have a lot of years left," Coste said. "There are a lot of good players, so we'll see what happens. Anyone in here is capable of having a good day."

Coste and Bergeron had great days in Monday's intrasquad game. Coste went 4-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs, while Bergeron added two homers.

To them, it's not just a meaningless intrasquad game.

"I'm in camp, not getting ready for a season, but trying to win a spot for a season," Bergeron said. "Some other guys can approach this differently, but I have to be game ready from yesterday on."

Bergeron, viewed as a long shot when Spring Training started, could find himself in a good position if he continues to hit. General manager Pat Gillick said the Phillies are searching for a lefty outfielder with a little pop.

Bergeron doesn't see himself as a power guy, but he might compensate with a decent batting eye and solid defense.

"I saw him play in Montreal, and made the statement that I liked his swing," said manager Charlie Manuel. "He looks like a different hitter. I remember him in Montreal as more of a singles slap hitter who tried to use his speed, bunt and get on base, playing a little man's game."

If he keeps it up, Bergeron might find himself playing with the big boys.

Some pad: Center fielder Aaron Rowand got his nifty new shin guard delivered early Monday, just in time for the afternoon intrasquad game.

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It didn't stop pitcher Daniel Haigwood's curveball from finding Rowand's shin, just above the guard.

"This is the biggest one they make, too," Rowand said. "I fouled a changeup off the pad, and then a curveball catches me on the shin."

Rowand is fine, and he doesn't expect to miss any time. That's more than you can say for Haigwood, who took some ribbing from pitcher Scott Mathieson about potentially wounding the team's starting center fielder.

Haigwood refuted Mathieson's claims that the lefty was settling a score.

"I tried to throw him a slurve, and missed," said Haigwood, laughing. "It was about 47 miles an hour. I can't hurt anybody."

"Doesn't matter," said Rowand, "when it hits you in the shin."

Burrell, Bell still out: Pat Burrell said his surgically repaired right foot felt "good" a few days ago, but he wanted to see how it responded to game action.

The first test didn't go well, as Burrell felt soreness and was scratched from Monday's intrasquad game.

Burrell didn't discuss the matter with the media, but assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the team isn't concerned about any long-term effects. Amaro and Manuel feel the discomfort can be attributed to Burrell wearing spikes for the first time this spring.

"His foot is a little sore," said Manuel. "I don't want him to go through what he went through last year. That's why he got operated on in the winter. The first day he wore spikes, there was soreness in the same place. I don't want him out there [Monday]."

Instead, Burrell took batting practice. Judging from the fact that he played with discomfort for the past 2 1/2 years, the team doesn't consider this a major source of concern.

Meanwhile, Bell participated in fielding drills and hit in the batting cage. He tested his sore left elbow, and told Amaro that he felt good.

"David is fine," said Amaro. "We're not too concerned."

"When we get back to letting him swing the bat the whole way through, he'll be in there," said Manuel. "We'll play it day-by-day. As soon as the soreness gets out of his elbow and arm, he'll be OK."

Tejeda declines Classic: It's not that Robinson Tejeda doesn't want to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

It's that he wants to pitch for the Phillies.

Through his agent, the right-hander asked that he not be considered for the event so he could focus on making the Phillies' roster. Despite having success last season, Tejeda is battling with Ricardo Rodriguez, Geoff Geary and Eude Brito for one of two open bullpen jobs.

"I want to stay here and try to make the team," Tejeda said. "I don't want to go, because playing for the Phillies is my job."

Amaro confirmed Tejeda's request, and understood.

"Robinson is concerned about making the club more than anything else, and that's understandable," Amaro said. "We encouraged him to play, but it's one of those things where we can't really endorse it. We understand that he's battling for a spot on our staff, and that's important for him."

It might have been less of an issue for Tejeda is he was guaranteed to pitch in the Classic. If he makes the team as an alternate -- as had been widely speculated -- there's no way of knowing when or if he might pitch.

If Tejeda doesn't pitch, there's no way to evaluate him.

"The question was whether he was going to actually pitch, and compete," Amaro said. "We know he'll get that opportunity here. It's one of those situations where it's an honor to get picked, but he has to make his own decision."

Did you know? Pitcher Julio Santana is the nephew of former Major Leaguer Rico Carty, who batted .299 with 204 homers in a 15-year career.

Philling in: First baseman Ryan Howard missed his second day of camp with a 103-degree temperature. The reigning National League Rookie of the Year went to the hospital on Monday morning with dehydration. ... Pitcher Chris Booker had hoped to be able to throw by this week, but he hasn't received medical clearance. "We want to make sure that he doesn't get on the mound until he's physically fit," said Amaro.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.