Jim Thome is back with the Phillies for his second stint with the club. When he signed with the team, the role he was sure to have was one where he was a late-inning pinch hitter or a designated hitter during interleague play. When Thome signed on the dotted line, I’m sure the last thing he was thinking about was being the every day first baseman for the Phillies, but now he is preparing his 41 year old body for that very task.
Thome is already doing special workouts in preparation for the beginning of the season. His exercises are focused on stretching, flexibility, and running. Thome is mostly worried about how his back is going to respond to the amount of innings he could be logging. Thome is being asked to play first base for a little, while the typical starting first baseman, Ryan Howard, is recovering from having surgery on his left Achilles. Thome has said that he has been fielding ground balls all winter inside an indoor facility in Chicago. Him and Charlie Manuel are down in Clearwater, Florida as we speak, partaking in a minicamp at the Carpenter Complex.
As Phillies fans, you want a speedy recovery for Howard and are hoping he can get back on the field as soon as possible because it is no secret that Howard is a substantial upgrade from the older Thome. If it turns out that Thome will end up playing a major amount of innings at first base, I’m sure he will be prepared mentally and physically to do so, as he is a veteran of the game and his work ethic puts him above the rest.
Follow us on Twitter: @fansided_philly