Notes: Dobbs finds power stroke
Trying to make club, veteran belts two homers in two days
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Two homers in two days have earned Greg Dobbs a new nickname."Hobbs," as in Roy. "They're going to have to reshoot some scenes from the movie," said Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, laughing, while Dobbs rolled his eyes. Before Bernard Malamud's famous novel is rewritten to include the Phils' seemingly natural new slugger, Dobbs would prefer to play well enough to make the 25-man roster. To do that, he'll have to show a consistent stroke in Grapefruit League action and the ability to play more than one position. Dobbs homered against Florida State University in Wednesday's 12-4 victory, then took the Tigers' Dennis Tankersley deep in the fourth inning of Thursday's 9-7 loss, one of his three hits. "Anytime you come to spring and your back is up against the wall, you want to put your best performance out there, no matter what," Dobbs said. "Especially being new to this organization makes it more important, because they have to make a decision within a month." Dobbs is competing with left-handed swinger Karim Garcia (who went 2-for-5) and right-handed-hitting Jayson Werth. Whomever doesn't start at catcher -- either Rod Barajas or Carlos Ruiz -- and third base -- either Wes Helms or Abraham Nunez -- will make up the other two spots, while Chris Coste seemingly has a job to lose. This assumes the Phillies opt for 12 pitchers. The competition appears friendly. "I root for every guy. I don't get caught up with that," Dobbs said. "I have enough to focus on with my game, to get myself ready to be productive. And that's what the other guys have to do, too." Garcia feels the same way, while trying to reintroduce himelf to Major League Baseball after spending two years in Japan. "I'm trying to get everybody to remember me again," said Garcia, who signed a Minor League deal. "Of course I'm trying to make this team, but there are 29 other teams who are looking at you in Spring Training. Dobbs, who was claimed off waivers from the Mariners in the offseason, is grateful to be getting an opportunity with a National League club. Though manager Mike Hargrove used his bench a lot last season, reserves tend to get more chances with NL teams. His positional versatility can only help. "[Wednesday] night, I played third. [Thursday], I played first," Dobbs said. "They know I can play the outfield. Getting a fresh slate in a new league is all I could have asked for. When I was put on waivers, the best-case scenario was a National League team picking me up, and it ended up happening. I think this is big for me, and I hope and pray I can capitalize on it." Mind ahead of the body: While his 44-year-old arm will need a full Spring Training to get ready, Jamie Moyer's mind is in midseason form.
Lefty reliever Aaron Fultz, who spent two seasons in Philadelphia, is scheduled to pitch for Cleveland.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.