MLB.com reflects on the passing of Jim Fregosi

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jim Fregosi managed the Phillies to the World Series in 1993 and spent the last 13 years as a special assistant to the general manager for the Braves. So it's fitting that a memorial service will be held at Bright House Field before the Atlanta-Philadelphia exhibition game March 5.

Fregosi, whose outsized personality touched hundreds, died last week at 71, triggering an outpouring of tributes. "Jim Fregosi, who spent 53 years in the game, was one of the most respected men in baseball," noted Phillies vice president, alumni relations Larry Shenk, who is helping to organize the event.

Members of Fregosi's family, as well as dozens of friends and former teammates, are expected to pay their respects to the baseball great who was an All-Star shortstop for the Angels and also played for the Mets, Rangers and Pirates. In addition to the Phillies, he managed the Angels, White Sox and Blue Jays. Each club will be represented.

Adams takes big step in recovery from shoulder surgery

Adams is happy with progress of shoulder recovery

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It looked like nothing more than a throwing session on flat ground. The smile on Mike Adams' face Friday at Bright House Field gave away that the Phillies right-handed reliever felt it was more than that.

"That was a step forward. That was some of my better flat-ground work so far. We'll do another one here in about three days and keep progressing toward getting back on the mound," said Adams, who is coming off shoulder surgery last July. "It was real good. I figured out a few things, got my rhythm back a little bit. That's probably the biggest thing, making sure you've got some rhythm with the mechanics in your delivery. And this was very good, so I'm excited."

The 35-year-old signed a two-year, $12 million contract before the 2013 season to address the team's eighth-inning concerns, but was never fully healthy and appeared in only 28 games. If he can fill the setup man role this season it will obviously be a huge boost for the bullpen.

If all continues to go well, he's supposed to pitch off the mound for the first time this spring on Thursday.

"I'm pretty excited about jumping back out there and getting some work in and join the guys back on the field," he said. "I don't think there was one guy in that clubhouse who pulled anything good out of last season. There might have been a couple guys who had pretty good years, but overall as a group we were all pretty disappointed with how the season came out.

"Everybody in here, so far, is loose. You see a different look on their face, the way they carry themselves. The atmosphere seems a lot better than last year and hopefully that carries over to the field and we win a lot of ballgames."

Worth noting

• Left-handed reliever Jake Diekman has such nasty stuff that the Phillies don't let just anybody face him in live batting practice. "We're making a conscious effort to have a group that can be somewhat comfortable. So there's some strategy with the hitting groups," said manager Ryne Sandberg.

Sandberg said it's his low release point that can make him difficult to pick up, even for right-handed hitters.

"Just where the ball is coming from. You don't normally see that angle coming in. It's a different arm slot. I've heard some of the guys say you can sort of run out of batter's eye. He's that far out," he said.

• Third baseman Maikel Franco, rated the Phillies No. 2 prospect by MLB.com's Prospect Watch, after batting a combined .320 with 31 homers and 103 RBIs between Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double A Reading last season, has been getting some early work at first base in camp. "We'll see how that pans out, but I want to see him at both positions," said Sandberg.