Everyday when Terry Jones arrives at the minor league complex, he wonders if it's his final day with the Phillies. He's a man expecting to be released at almost any time. Injuries have made him a shell of the player that he was when the Phillies drafted him and he has fallen far off the pace of where he figured to be for the 2006 season.
Jones came reported to camp in relatively good shape and was hoping that things would turn around for him professionally. His ailing foot that hampered him for a couple seasons was better and he figured to be able to have a shot at putting all of that behind him.
Then, it happened...
Playing a new position - first base - Jones dove to make a play and dislocated his left shoulder. He can barely lift his arm out to the side at all and has only about 60% movement of his left arm and you guessed it, he is out of action. The Phillies insist the injury is "only" a dislocated shoulder, although Jones is fearing worse; perhaps a torn labrum. Even the best case scenario has him completely out of action for another four to six weeks.
Maybe some guys simply aren't supposed to be professional ball players and in Jones' case, it's a shame because he's a talented young guy. Now though, Jones - who just turned 23 on Monday - has to wonder if he'll ever have a shot at playing in the minors again, let alone making it to the majors.
What do you do when there aren't any other minor league teams to play against? You find a beer league team with time on their hands and challenge them to a game. That's what "Team 5", a group of players primarily from last year's Gulf Coast League team did. Actually, the opposing team is a semi-pro league team and features R.T. Plumsky. If that name sounds familiar, it should. He was in the Phillies organization and suffered some pretty serious injuries in a Jeep accident. He's doing better physically, but was released by the Phillies.
Darren Byrd pitched three innings and threw well, giving up just a couple of bloop hits. Jermaine Williams, who is coming back from a torn ACL, served as the DH and looked to be pretty well recovered. Plus, Mike Durant returned to town looking even bigger than he was last season, although he still hasn't completely grown into his body. One observer said he looks like a puppy dog that hasn't quite grown into his big paws yet.