CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jim Thome took an important step Monday, playing four innings at first base in a Minor League Spring Training game at Carpenter Complex.
Jose Contreras took a big step, too.
He recorded five outs, throwing 21 pitches in the same game. Contreras is recovering from elbow surgery, and if he continues to progress, he should be able to make the Opening Day roster.
"Oh, yeah," said Contreras, when asked how he felt. "Wow. I feel good. I'm happy."
Contreras struck out two batters and got Thome to bounce into a double play. Contreras also hit a batter.
He is not sure when he will pitch next or when he might appear in a Grapefruit League game, but he is optimistic.