Always be nice to your neighbor.

That's what Scott Proefrock lived by and that's one of the reasons why AJ Burnett came out retirement to sign with the Phillies. That and $16 million for one year of pitching.

Burnett and Proefrock live about a mile apart in Maryland with their sons sharing the same middle schools and the same recreational basketball team. Proefrock was able to keep the lines of communication open throughout the winter months and three weeks ago there was a breaking point.

In his interview on 97.3 ESPN FM with Mike Gill Proefrock said that three weeks ago he and Burnett sat down for 'about an hour and a half' talking about what his presence would do for the Phillies rotation. Burnett agreed to a one year contract with the Phillies, it comes at a perfect time with tendinitis issues sidelining Cole Hamels and Jonathan Pettibone.

Proefrock also talks about the rest of the rotation including how Roberto Hernandez and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez look.

There is also the healthier and 'normal' return of Ryan Howard. Howard is in better condition this season and the team remains optimistic that Howard can play close to 162 games.

"When he's in the lineup, it puts everyone in the right spot. It's a pretty good lineup top to bottom and we have a chance to score a lot more runs, " Proefrock said.

The Phillies will begin team workouts this week with Grapefruit League games starting next week.

LISTEN to Scott Proefrock on with Mike Gill: