In his second bullpen session since he went on the 15-day disabled list, Brad Lidge threw more than three dozen pain-free pitches yesterday. Afterward, he said his right knee felt fine.
"I threw 42 pitches and put something on them, and I felt really good again, so that's pretty darn encouraging," Lidge said. "We have to kind of see how I feel when I wake up."
If the Phillies' closer does not experience swelling or inflammation this morning, he could be headed for a minor-league rehabilitation assignment, perhaps as soon as tonight in Reading. The earliest Lidge could come off the disabled list is Tuesday, when the Phillies play at Tampa Bay.
"If he feels 100 percent, we'll probably start him on a rehab," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We're not going to put him on the mound until he absolutely feels 100 percent. It makes no sense to rush him."
Lidge said he'd probably wait another day or two if there was stiffness and soreness in the knee. He said a cortisone shot had calmed the inflammation.
"I think each time I go out there on the mound, it's important, because I'm not holding anything back on these and I'm pushing off really good," he said. "I think at this point, after two bullpen [sessions], the next stage is to pitch to hitters."
Called up from Lehigh Valley for the second time this season, outfielder John Mayberry Jr. probably can count on being busier this time around.
Mayberry was summoned from the Phillies' triple-A affiliate yesterday to replace Raul Ibanez, who was put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin.
Mayberry started in right field, and as he did in his major-league debut on May 23 at Yankee Stadium, belted a home run, a solo drive that gave the Phillies a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning of the 8-7 loss to Toronto. He also singled as he went 2 for 5.
The first time Mayberry was called up, he was 2 for 9 in three games. Rather than use him sparingly, the Phillies determined that he would be better off playing every day, so they returned him to Lehigh Valley.
"I think that pretty much everybody's going to feel some sense of letdown because of the fact this is the highest level and it doesn't get any better," Mayberry said. "So when you go back down, you're definitely a little bummed. But at the same time, I think having that experience made me want to get back here even more."
Mayberry was caught off-guard in the seventh inning when Scott Rolen stretched a single into a double on him. Mayberry fielded the hit and delayed before throwing to second base.
"I probably took an extra step in my spin," said Mayberry, who spun around before throwing.
But in the eighth, Mayberry saved a run by throwing a laser to nail Vernon Wells at the plate.
Manager Charlie Manuel said the talented Mayberry would certainly see more playing time than he did in May.
"Is John ready for us to turn him loose against big-league pitching?" Manuel said. "We're going to find out."
Greg Dobbs' pinch-homer, in the eighth, was his first of the season and the sixth of his career. . . . The Phillies are 3-6 in interleague play, with the Baltimore Orioles coming in for a three-game series beginning tonight. . . . Yesterday's attendance of 44,036 marked the 26th sellout this season. . . . The Blue Jays left the bases loaded in three consecutive innings - the sixth, seventh and eighth.