Notes: Tejeda, Brito trying to catch up

Notes: Tejeda, Brito trying to catch up

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Robinson Tejeda and Eude Brito spent a good part of their morning glad-handing teammates and catching up on lost time while they participated in the World Baseball Classic.

Tejeda and Brito -- and bullpen coach Ramon Henderson -- represented the Dominican Republic, a team that was eliminated by Team Cuba in the semifinals.

The challenge for the pair is making up for the lost time in Spring Training, where both are fighting for jobs on the team. Neither saw much game action, leaving only side sessions and the remaining two weeks of camp to make a proper evaluation.

Both appear to be competing with Ricardo Rodriguez, Aquilino Lopez and Yoel Hernandez for the final bullpen spot. Manuel is taking 12 pitchers to Philadelphia -- the five starters and Tom Gordon, Arthur Rhodes, Rheal Cormier, Aaron Fultz, Julio Santana and Geoff Geary.

Who will be the 12th?

"I don't think we should set them back because they played in the World Baseball Classic," Manuel said. "We have a short period of time, but we'll get them work."

"I don't want to put any more pressure in my mind," Tejeda said. "I want to do what I can, and if it happens, it happens. I want to stay, and if I get the opportunity, I'm sure I can."

Even if playing in Classic affects them in the short term, the pair is happy for the experience of playing on a star-studded team.

"It was amazing to play with those guys," Brito said. "I remember watching Mosies Alou play as a kid, and we were wearing the same uniform. It's one of the great things that happened in my life."

Gonzalez in the outfield: Alex Gonzalez's dabble in the outfield ratcheted up a notch when he started Monday's Grapefruit League game in left field.

He didn't get much chance to break in his new glove, as his only play came on a ground ball that went through the infield. He tracked two homers to the wall, then watched them go out, and felt confident in his pursuit.

"It was a pretty quiet day out there," Gonzalez said. "For what I got, I felt good. It's been a learning experience. Going from the infield isn't an easy task. On this field [with a strong wind blowing], it's tough conditions, which is the best way to prepare myself for the worst."

Tailing line drives are the trickiest for Gonzalez, and adjusting his throwing. As an infielder, he uses mostly his wrist, while the outfield requires getting more behind the throws.

"I've got to get a little more arm action into getting carry on the ball," Gonzalez said. "I have to be careful. I'm trying to stay as loose as possible. If I can stick to hitting the cutoff man with a sharp throw, that's all they're asking of me. I'm just going to do the basics."

Gonzalez had played shortstop his whole career before shifting to third base with the Devil Rays in 2005. He'll play predominantly third with the Phillies, though he's played first and left this spring, and may log some time at second base.

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"Second base is a whole other story," Gonzalez said. "I don't know what's going to happen there. I've been moved around a lot this spring. I want to keep it as simple as possible, but stay as versatile as possible."

Myers vs. Santana: Brett Myers looked solid in his latest Grapefruit League outing as he prepares for the season. He allowed two homers, one that was wind-aided.

"I was standing in the outfield [before the game] and the wind was blowing, and I'm going, everything's gone," Myers said. "I was like, let me pop one up, it'll probably go."

Myers also joked about his first at-bat of the spring, in which he struck out against 2004 American League Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana.

"That wasn't fun," Myers said. "That 3-2 pitch, I didn't know what it was. It was slower than a fastball, and definitely wasn't a changeup. My first at-bat of Spring Training, I get to face Johan Santana. Super."

David Bell update: David Bell reported for baseball action on Monday, taking regular batting practice and fielding grounders.

Bell estimated that he took about 30 swings, and he remains hopeful of being ready for the season -- despite what's been written and said.

"My job is to get myself ready as quick as possible, and be ready to play at a high level," Bell said. "I believe I can do that. I've been hearing for three weeks from people that that's not to going to happen, but I don't care what those people say."

After playing in a Minor League game on Thursday, Bell said something wasn't quite right on Friday and his back stiffened up on Saturday. By Sunday, his muscle spasms had gone away, so he swung off a tee and played catch.

Bell said he wanted to play on Monday, but he agreed to wait one more day.

"From what I was told by the doctor, this can happen once or twice a year," Bell said. "The last two years, it's happened in Spring Training or in April for whatever reason. I don't think it's going to affect the way I play."

Roster trimming: The Phillies reassigned eight players to the Minors on Monday, leaving 37 in camp. Gone are outfielder Peter Bergeron, right-hander Ryan Cameron, right-hander Clay Condrey, first baseman-outfielder Shawn Garrett, right-hander Travis Minix, right-hander Brian Sanches, infielder Bobby Scales and infielder Joe Thurston.

Coming up: The Phillies have their final split-squad games of the spring on Tuesday, hosting the Tigers and traveling to Bradenton to face the Pirates. Both games are at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Gavin Floyd is scheduled to start at Bright House Networks Field, and be followed by Lopez, Fultz and Rhodes. Lidle heads to Bradenton to face the Pirates, with Rodriguez, Cormier and Santana also scheduled to pitch.

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