It looked like nothing more than a throwing session on flat ground. The smile on Mike Adams' face Friday at Bright House Field gave away that the Phillies right-handed reliever felt it was more than that.

"That was a step forward. That was some of my better flat-ground work so far. We'll do another one here in about three days and keep progressing toward getting back on the mound," said Adams, who is coming off shoulder surgery last July. "It was real good. I figured out a few things, got my rhythm back a little bit. That's probably the biggest thing, making sure you've got some rhythm with the mechanics in your delivery. And this was very good, so I'm excited."

The 35-year-old signed a two-year, $12 million contract before the 2013 season to address the team's eighth-inning concerns, but was never fully healthy and appeared in only 28 games. If he can fill the setup man role this season it will obviously be a huge boost for the bullpen.

If all continues to go well, he's supposed to pitch off the mound for the first time this spring on Thursday.

"I'm pretty excited about jumping back out there and getting some work in and join the guys back on the field," he said. "I don't think there was one guy in that clubhouse who pulled anything good out of last season. There might have been a couple guys who had pretty good years, but overall as a group we were all pretty disappointed with how the season came out.