LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - I'm ready.
That's the message veteran righthander Roy Halladay delivered yesterday after his final Grapefruit League outing of the spring yesterday. The defending NL Cy Young winner pitched three scoreless innings in a 6-1 victory over the Braves.
In five starts this spring, Halladay went 4-0 with a 0.42 ERA, allowing 14 hits, one run and six walks with 16 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings.
"I'm definitely anxious to get going," he said after the performance.
Halladay said his preparation for Friday's Opening Day start against the Astros began last week, when he began reviewing Houston's probable lineup. Tomorrow or Wednesday, he will begin his usual copious preparation for his start.
"I think once you get up to Philly it feels more normal," Halladay said. "I'll be glad when tomorrow's over, just packing and getting all that stuff done. Just getting up there, I'll be back in, at least feeling normal again."
The length of Brad Lidge's absence will not be known until tomorrow, when the veteran closer is scheduled to have an MRI on his ailing right shoulder. Lidge visited team doctor Michael Ciccotti on Friday, but will not undergo an MRI until the team returns to Philadelphia.
"He was actually better in his exam than he was a couple days ago," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He still has some posterior soreness in his shoulder and will have an MRI Tuesday in Philadelphia. That's where we have a baseline on previous exams Brad has had and we can compare things. We'll go from there. We don't have a diagnosis until we know what the MRI looks like. We'll treat it from there."
Lidge developed the shoulder pain after pitching in a minor league game last Tuesday and a Grapefruit League game on Thursday. Previously, he had been shut down for 2 weeks with biceps tendinitis.
Third baseman Placido Polanco made his second start since missing close to 2 weeks with a hyperextended left elbow, going 0-for-2 to finish the spring 7-for-41. Manager Charlie Manuel said he isn't concerned about the contact-hitting Polanco's readiness for the season. He also said the elbow, which Polanco told reporters on Friday was still a bit sore, is doing fine.
"He's OK," Manuel said. "He says he is. He's not hurting, he said."