LOS ANGELES - The most important right shoulder on the Phillies played long toss yesterday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
So the shoulder still works. But how well?
"I'm going to be ready to throw," Phillies closer Brad Lidge said before last night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. "It's up to them right now. If they don't call down [to the bullpen], they don't call down, but I'm ready."
That's a relief for the Phillies, if Lidge's assessment is accurate. He had been unable to pitch since Friday because of stiffness, soreness and inflammation in his right shoulder. Lidge said his shoulder had not felt 100 percent since before the All-Star Game last month at Yankee Stadium.
But he also acknowledged that the way he was used at the All-Star Game did not help matters. Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle had Lidge warm up six times before he pitched in the 15th inning.
Lidge had not warmed up more than once in a game before that.
"He's just now getting back to where he should be, really," said manager Charlie Manuel, who was not happy that Hurdle used his closer like that in an exhibition game. "That he's sore every now and then goes back to the fact that he threw 120 pitches and he's only used to throwing around 30."
"Put it this way," Lidge said. "Before the All-Star Game, it was feeling a little maybe like I had a tiny bit of tendinitis in there, not bad. If I would have just thrown regular at the All-Star Game . . . it probably would have gone away because I had the other three days off over the break. But that didn't allow it to recover."
It's obvious how important Lidge's health is to his team's success. Lidge is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA and 28 saves in 28 opportunities.
Righthander Rudy Seanez, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in his shoulder, threw 11 pitches and struck out one batter in a rehab appearance last night for triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Manuel said Seanez, who can be activated Saturday, could rejoin the team this weekend in San Diego.
Righthander Tom Gordon, who is on the disabled list with problems in his right elbow, visited orthopedist Lewis Yocum yesterday for a second opinion.
Results were not expected until today.
Draft pick on board
The Phillies agreed to terms with third-round supplemental draft pick Jon Pettibone, a high school pitcher from California. Last week, an organizational source expressed his doubts that the Phillies would be able to sign him at all, but that was not the case.
"We extended a little bit more than what we anticipated, but after observing him down in the bullpen today, it was well worth it," Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever said. "It's better every time we see him. There's a huge ceiling for him. The father has been a professional player and there's a lot of good things there."
Pettibone's father, Jay, made four appearances for the Minnesota Twins in 1983.
Wolever hopes to get Pettibone to Clearwater, Fla., to play for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies as early as tomorrow.
The Phillies still have not signed first baseman/third baseman Johnny Coy, a seventh-round pick who has agreed to play baseball and basketball for Arizona State. There are indications that he will go to school rather than sign.
Twelfth-round pick James Weber, a righthanded pitcher, might still sign.
"I would not rule that one out," Wolever said. "There's definitely a chance. I'm very optimistic."
Former Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal, who played for the Dodgers last year and is now retired, was in attendance last night. He chatted before the game with Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.
Dodgers security apparently did not recognize Lieberthal and would not let him on the field. Greg Casterioto, the Phillies' manager of media relations, convinced security that Lieberthal not only played big-league ball for 14 seasons but also played for the Dodgers last year.
at Dodgers (Kershaw, 2-3), tonight at 10:10 (CSN)