Rollins progressing well in Clearwater
Phillies hope to have shortstop back for next homestand
DENVER -- Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins is in extended spring training in Clearwater, Fla., and seems to be progressing well.
Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said they hope to have Rollins, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf, back in the Phillies' lineup during their next homestand -- from May 17-23 against the Pirates, Cubs and Red Sox.
Lidge frustrated with right elbow stiffness
DENVER -- The dejected look on Brad Lidge's face told the story.
The Phillies' closer played catch Tuesday afternoon at Coors Field with teammate Chad Durbin, and a few minutes later in the visitor's clubhouse, a reporter asked him how it went. Lidge, who had surgery on his right elbow in November and spent most of April on the disabled list, has felt stiffness in the elbow since Sunday.
He looked frustrated.
"It didn't really feel like I wanted it to," he said before walking away.
Should Phillies fans be worried?
The Phillies said they are in monitor mode, not panic mode, but there is certainly reason to be concerned. Lidge had surgery on the elbow just six months ago, and the bullpen is thin without him. Philadelphia is already without right-hander Ryan Madson for a couple of months after he had surgery on his right big toe, and then there is the fact that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has been leaning heavily on right-handers Jose Contreras, Chad Durbin and Danys Baez through the first 32 games of the season.
Bottom line: the Phillies need Lidge healthy.
"None of this is ever going to be a straight-line progression," said Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock.
Proefrock said they have no plans to place Lidge on the disabled list or to have Lidge receive an MRI.
But before Lidge played catch Tuesday, he maintained the stiffness is typical for a player returning from his type of elbow surgery. He said he has six entry points in his elbow where doctors removed loose bodies, which means there is a lot of scar tissue to get through.
"You come back, but you might have little things here and there until it gets really into constant rhythm and routine, which hopefully will be very soon," Lidge said. "It's not that uncommon. It's something I could throw through, but they didn't want me to keep trying to just plow through it."
Lidge received a cortisone injection into the elbow in March. He said the discomfort is similar to what he felt then, but it is "not as much."
"Hopefully, and most likely, it's just a product of coming back," he said. "There's still scar tissue in there that needs to get into its normal midseason-type feel. And when that happens for me, it's the end of the story. Hopefully it'll be the case."
Lidge likely would have pitched the ninth inning Monday in a 9-5 victory over the Rockies, but Contreras pitched instead because Lidge felt stiffness in the elbow while playing catch before the game.
"He's covering for a lot of us right now," Lidge said of Contreras. "He's been outstanding for our bullpen. We knew he had good stuff. We just didn't know he'd be as durable as he is."
But Contreras, 38, is pitching out of the bullpen regularly for the first time in his career. The Phillies don't want to go to the well too often and have Contreras wear down late in the season. That is why the Phillies are watching Lidge closely.
"It's really nothing that is alarming at all, unless for some reason it doesn't get any better for a couple days -- like it just stays there," Lidge said. "Then that would be something we'd have to look at. Right now, it seems very straightforward as to what it is. Like I said, [head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan] is not at all alarmed because he sees it a lot."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.