Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Jim Thome focused on stretching and flexibility and also lost some weight over the offseason as he prepares to play some first base.

While many around the Phillies, including GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and assistant GM Scott Proefrock have suggested that Thome wasn't really an option to play much first base while Ryan Howard is out.  However, maybe Thome has shown up determined to get out on the field more and be more then just a hitter off the bench.

Last year in 93 games, Thome was still able to pop 15 home runs in 277 at-bats, so even at 41 years old his bat can still be dangerous.  The only way that happens more frequently in the National League is getting in the line-up and playing first base is a way that can happen more often.

As a pinch-hitter last season Thome hit just .231 with no home runs and just one RBI.