Via the magic of youtube, we see some of the first footage of folk hero Jim Thome taking grounders at first base. It is glorious stuff really. David Hale of Philled In caught Thome after he played four innings in a minor league split squad game to ask him about owning gloves and being Jim freaking Thome.

For a team with World Series aspirations, Jim Thome is more than a feel-good bench bat. As Ryan Howard’s return date gets murkier and murkier, the Phils might just need Thome to play a significant role in the early part of the season. Thome and Ty Willington Wigginton splitting time at first until Howard returns isn’t the worst idea in the world but that doesn’t make it ideal.

If the extra strain of playing some defense here and there takes away from his still-potent (against right-handed pitching) bat, it is a problem.

H/t to the irrepressible Meech One.