PITTSBURGH - Nearly 24 hours after Charlie Manuel summoned John Mayberry Jr. to his hotel room here to tell the outfielder he was being sent to the minors, Mayberry was scrambling to make a flight from Charlotte, N.C., to Pittsburgh.
"I've got a few miles under my belt," Mayberry said.
Mayberry is back, probably for just a few days, as the Phillies placed Ross Gload on the paternity leave list on Saturday. Gload flew to Philadelphia early Saturday and his wife, Betsy, gave birth to a baby girl in the morning.
The paternity leave list is a new option implemented by Major League Baseball this season so teams would not have to play a man short. A player may spend one to three days on the list. Manuel said he expects Gload to miss at least two games, maybe three.
After Mayberry was optioned Friday, he flew to Charlotte, where triple-A Lehigh Valley was playing. He arrived around 4 p.m., started in center field for manager Ryne Sandberg, and went 1 for 4 with a single.
"Just think if I'd had him here, that one hit he got might have won it for us," Manuel deadpanned.
Mayberry said he was sitting in his hotel room when Sandberg called Saturday morning and told him to leave. He arrived back in Pittsburgh around 3 p.m.
"I had no idea," Mayberry said. "I was completely blindsided. I was very excited to be coming back."
That conversation in the hotel room was "tough," Manuel said, and Mayberry asked the manager what he needed to do better. Manuel responded by saying Mayberry must hit righthanders better and that's why the Phillies chose to send him down. If he were to stay at the major-league level, the at-bats would be scarce and mostly against lefthanders.
That assignment is temporarily delayed with Gload's absence, providing what Mayberry called a "pleasant surprise." But the 27-year-old outfielder is likely headed for a longer stint in the minors after the weekend.
"I just try to perform wherever I go and trust that things will work out," Mayberry said.
This latest roster move does nothing to affect Mayberry's option status. In an option year, a team can recall and option a player as often as it wants without ramification. If he spends more than 20 days in the minors this season, it uses up his third and final option year.
After soreness in his shoulder prevented Brad Lidge from throwing in an extended spring training game Friday, the righthander played catch without pain Saturday in Clearwater, Fla. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Lidge would throw again Sunday and could resume his rehab program after that.
But Lidge will need a bullpen session before appearing in his next extended spring game and he is a few more extended spring games away from beginning an official rehab assignment.
There remains a great deal of haziness regarding Lidge's partially torn rotator cuff and what sort of pitcher he can return as.
"Uncertainty is the right word," Proefrock said. "We just don't know."
Vance Worley's return to triple-A was successful Friday, when he struck out nine in six shutout innings for the IronPigs. The Phillies sent Worley to the minors to stretch out his arm and have him regain confidence. He threw 93 pitches and will make at least one start - and probably more - for Lehigh Valley.
Backup catcher Brian Schneider (left hamstring strain) could be a week away from appearing in an extended spring training game. Schneider suffered a setback about a week ago while running the bases and likely remains a few weeks away from a return. . . . Following Saturday's game, the Phillies optioned Mike Zagurski to Lehigh Valley and recalled David Herndon.