CLEARWATER — Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Friday that the legendary work ethic of new ace Roy Halladay could "rub off" on some of his other pitchers.
Turns out, it already has. Just ask RHP Kyle Kendrick.
Halladay, 32, is typically the first player to arrive at Bright House Field, around 5:45 a.m. But on a few occasions, Kendrick has beaten him in, showing up two hours earlier than he routinely did last spring.
"I've got to start bumping it to 5:30 a.m. soon," Halladay joked.
Kendrick, an 11-game winner in 2008, spent most of last season in Triple A after struggling in spring training as he tried to developed his changeup. But pitching coach Rich Dubee said it was part of the learning curve and "right now, he's much more of a complete pitcher."
And, as Manuel said, Kendrick is "in good shape, the best I've seen him."
Kendrick, 25, trained in the offseason in Bradenton but has been joining Halladay the past few weeks, saying he wants to absorb as much as he can in hopes of cracking the rotation.
"My work ethic has gotten a lot better I think," Kendrick said. "Before, I kind of did my own thing and really didn't have a plan. Now I have a plan."
Yanks: Pitching duel
TAMPA — RHPs Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, the front-runners for the Yankees' fifth starter spot, both threw 30 pitches during their first bullpen sessions.
"I love it," Chamberlain said of the competition. "I wouldn't have it any other way for the team. Pushing each other makes the team better."
RHPs Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves are also under consideration.
"It compares to your first spring training when you want to impress people," Hughes said. "Throw strikes in your first bullpen."
Manager Joe Girardi said the competition begins in earnest when spring games start.
Jays: Molina signs
TORONTO — C Jose Molina, 34, agreed to a one-year major-league deal for $400,000. If he is on the opening-day roster, he would be guaranteed $1 million. He spent the past two seasons with the Yankees and hit .217 last year with 11 RBIs.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.