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New Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay driving young pitcher Kyle Kendrick

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.

FAST FACTS

Yankees

First full-squad workout: Wednesday

Where: George Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive,
Tampa

Phillies

First full-squad workout: Tuesday

Where: Carpenter Complex and Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Blue Jays

Pitchers/catchers: Report Monday

First full-squad workout: Friday

Where: Englebert Complex, 1700 Solon Ave., Dunedin

New Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay driving young pitcher Kyle Kendrick 02/19/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 20, 2010 12:57pm]
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