03/12/07 7:30 PM ET
Notes: Roberson sent to Minors
Outfielder among 14 demoted from big-league camp
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
"I just have to keep playing," he said. "I made the first cut, so I need to go out and play hard."Bourn is hitting .360 (9-for-25) with 10 runs scored and four stolen bases. The Phils see him as future top-of-the-order hitter. He's already a fine defender. The team quickly noticed a change in his confidence level. "It was just a matter of getting comfortable," Bourn said. "It's a different level, and you can't ignore that. I had to get comfortable with all that goes on. I'm not 100 percent all the way there, but I feel way more comfortable than I did then." Bourn played in 17 games for the Phillies last season, going 1-for-8 and was mostly used as a pinch-hitter. He first call-up lasted a day, July 30, and he went 0-for-1 against Florida. "I was like, 'I'm here for real,'" Bourn said of that day. "I was in la-la land. I was in awe at first, and now I see everybody and am feeling better. I have to get back to the point of just playing the game like when I was a little kid." Brett Myers in the Minors: While non-roster invitee J.A. Happ tasted life on a bigger stage, Brett Myers returned to his roots. Myers worked three innings at the Minor League complex on Monday, allowing one hit and an unearned run. He walked none and struck out six. He said he threw mostly fastballs and dropped in two curveballs. "I'm trying to get extension today," Myers said. "This is the best I've felt in a while." Smith improves: Maybe a new haircut made the difference. Matt Smith, who three days ago was lamenting two straight poor outings that saw his ERA balloon to 30.86, cut his hair and threw two scoreless innings on Monday, lowering his ERA to 16.62. He also struck out four. "I was little bit of a rebel this winter," said Smith, who said he went down two hat sizes after his trim. "It felt better to take my hat off, but I was just clearing the cobwebs out a little bit. I think if this was all about hair, this whole team would have shaved heads." Smith said the key to his important was a mechanical issue pitching coach Rich Dubee noticed. Smith said he knew something was wrong, but couldn't figure out what it was. "I was kind of a lost soul," Smith said. "I'm a timing pitcher, meaning if my mechanics aren't sound, there won't be very good results. I battled myself and forced the issue too much, and that creates a problem. The past two outings were evident of that." Smith's was content with his slider, and now wants to work on making his fastball less erratic. "It's a work in progress," Smith said. "You can throw all the cliches out there. Rome wasn't built in one day, yada, yada. I'm not going to go out there and pop open a bottle of champagne, but it was definitely a positive day. That's all you can ask for at this stage." As for his new shorter hair as opposed to the former bushy look, Smith said he won't go as far as Joe Bisenius, who is bald. "That's not going to happen," Smith said. "We'll just keep it at that. [Bisenius] can pull it off. But myself? There's no Kojak in me." Philling in: Collier, one of the 13 players reassigned, was limited to two at-bats this spring because of a stomach illness. ... The Phillies have played five extra-inning games this spring and are 3-1-1. ... Cole Hamels will play catch on Wednesday, while Jamie Moyer will throw a bullpen session. The team is off on Wednesday, then plays the Blue Jays on Thursday night in Dunedin, Fla. ... On Monday, players were filling out their brackets for the NCAA Tournament. Shane Victorino said he picked the University of Florida to repeat as national champion. ... Roughly 20 scouts were in attendance for Monday's game, and Aaron Rowand played all 10 innings of Philadelphia's 6-6 tie against Houston. They also stayed to the end and watched Bisenius throw. Up next: Righty Adam Eaton is scheduled to make his third outing of the spring, and second Grapefruit League appearance, on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Devil Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. Eaton's previous outing came in a "B" game against the Blue Jays. He went four innings, allowing one run on five hits and four strikeouts.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.