SAN DIEGO -- A bench player for the Phillies this season, Jim Thome made his third start at first base in Sunday's 6-1 loss to the Padres at Petco Park.
The 22-year Major League veteran is adjusting to his new role. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts,and also committed a throwing error while trying to get the ball to pitcher Joe Blanton on a grounder in the third inning. The error led to a run.
"I knew my role when I came here. It's just up to me to make that adjustment, too," Thome said. "We have a lot of great players here. We all have to rely on each other. Hopefully, we can do that. Me, personally, I just need to continue to work, come in early, do all the little things that will keep me sharp when I do get in there."
Manager Charlie Manuel said Thome's swing is good, but his timing is off. Thome is batting .125 (2-for-16) with nine strikeouts.
"That's a tough role, and you have to get some at-bats as you go along," Manuel said.
"He just needs to get some at-bats and he's going to be fine."
As for the error -- one of a season-high three miscues the Phillies committed on Sunday -- Thome said he had more time than he thought he had to make the play.
"Those are plays you've got to make," Thome said.