A significantly quieter pregame tonight. Only two TV cameras in attendance as opposed to the hundreds (OK, maybe I'm overestimating) that were around for Utley Day on Monday. Anyway, the bespectacled one, Vance Worley, takes the mound for his third start of the season.
Before that, here is some injury news:
-- Jose Contreras (elbow) returned to Citizens Bank Park after his final rehab outing this morning at triple-A Lehigh Valley. He said he's ready to go. Rich Dubee and Ruben Amaro Jr. tend to agree. The question is whether he'll be activated Wednesday or Thursday. Either way, he will be back in the fold shortly.
-- Shane Victorino (strained right hamstring) is improving and has been taking batting practice in addition to doing various agility drills. Amaro still did not rule out Victorino returning when his DL stint is up on June 3. But the centerfielder will need to play in minor-league games to ensure his leg does not betray him.
"He's going to have to play," Amaro said. "It's the biggest part of his game."
-- Brad Lidge is still a bit away from even appearing in extended spring training games. He threw a 40-pitch bullpen in Clearwater today and will need three or four more bullpen sessions before he is bumped up to game action. Then he'll need affiliated game action. So he's still at least three weeks away.
-- Outfield prospect Tyson Gillies has yet to play in a game this season, but he is nearing a return. Gillies has been tormented by hamstring problems for almost a calendar year now. He has seen a specialist in Nebraska twice and could play in extended spring training games in a week, Amaro said.
"He's running at 100 to 110 percent," Amaro said. The GM laughed because that's what the athletic training staff actually wrote in the official injury report.
-- Amaro figures that top catching prospect Sebastian Valle is fully recovered from his concussion because he caught all 23 innings of single-A Clearwater's 2-1 loss to Jupiter on Monday. Also in that game, pitcher-turned-hitter Joe Savery was a pitcher again for two innings and didn't allow a run. Amaro said he was clocked at 92 m.p.h. That's pretty awesome.
For more on that crazy game, be sure to read Wednesday's Inquirer. Bob Brookover talked to Clearwater manager Dusty Wathan.
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