DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jim Thome, who has played just four big league games at first since 2005, was at first again on Sunday in a Minor League game, his second in a row.
With Ryan Howard apparently sidelined until mid-May, at best, it is possible the 41-year-old Thome may see more time at first early in the season than anyone expected when he signed with the Phillies last November. John Mayberry Jr., Ty Wigginton, and Laynce Nix, who hasn't played since Monday after suffering a rib cage injury in a collision at the plate, are also in the mix.
Thome played five innings with the Class A Phillies on Sunday after playing four innings at first base on Saturday.
Asked afterward how he felt, Thome told a reporter: "Two days in a row, I could definitely feel it. That's all good. I wanted to do that."
"It'll be interesting to see how I feel [Monday]," Thome added. "But that's part of Spring Training. We wanted to progress and see where we're at. Good. I'm starting to get a little more comfortable every day out there. That's important, too. It's coming along good."