CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. picked up his cell phone Sunday night and uttered five words before the caller could say hello:

"He is absolutely 100 percent."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Lee mildly strained his side before he reported to Bright House Field for Spring Training.

"He had some soreness in the offseason, about a month ago," Amaro said. "He talked to our trainers. We brought him in. He had a mild strain of his lat. He's perfectly fine."

Asked if Lee would be ready to pitch Opening Day if asked, Amaro said, "He's on course with every other pitcher we have."

Lee's first bullpen session last week was shorter than his peers. Amaro said his bullpen sessions "have been fine since. We have been overly cautious."

Lidge enjoying first healthy spring in a while

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Lost in the rotation hoopla and the anticipated bounce back seasons from Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, is Phillies closer Brad Lidge being healthy this spring for the first time in years.

He missed time in Spring Training 2008 because of knee surgery. He missed time the following spring because of forearm tightness. And he spent last spring recovering from offseason knee and elbow surgeries.

"Brad for a couple years now has been a bit behind," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said Sunday at Bright House Field. "But this year, he was able throw, able to lift, able to do his conditioning. He's much further along than he's been in the past."

Dubee thinks Lidge could regain some velocity as a result. The closer's velocity has dropped each of the past few seasons, according to

"Even if he doesn't, I think he learned a great lesson last year in being able to angle the ball and command his fastball," Dubee said. "Look at his second half last year. He was outstanding for us."

Versatile Martinez could backup Victorino

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- One player expected to get a good look in Spring Training is Michael Martinez, who the Phillies selected in the Rule 5 Draft from the Washington Nationals.

Martinez can play anywhere defensively, including some center field.

That could prove important. The Phillies lack a true center fielder behind Shane Victorino. Manager Charlie Manuel said Sunday if the season started today, John Mayberry Jr. is his best option to backup in center field. Ben Francisco also can play there.

"He's going to have to play within himself," Manuel said of Martinez. "He looks good catching balls at shortstop. I haven't seen him in the outfield. They say he can move good and run down the ball."

Phils hurlers set to face live batters Monday

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies pitchers will be throwing batting practice to teammates on Monday morning at the Carpenter Complex.

Many hitters just stand in the batter's box and track pitches thrown to them because it is the first time they have seen live pitching since last season. Domonic Brown took a few cuts last spring at Roy Halladay, but started to notice that nobody else was swinging. Brown, who was in his first big league camp, asked Raul Ibanez if it was OK to swing at the Phillies' ace.

It was.

"It's just a natural progression," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "You go from throwing bullpens to a live body in there."

No pitcher is expected to throw more than 40 pitches.

Phils send righty Carpenter to Triple-A

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Right-hander Andrew Carpenter has cleared waivers and has been assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies designated him for assignment last week to make room for right-hander Brian Schlitter, who they claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees.

Carpenter will report to big league camp Monday.