Busy day here at the old ballyard. The tarp is off the field and it looks like we shouldn't have any problem getting this one in.
A quick run-down of today's events:
1) General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. gave no indication of how long the Phillies think Raul Ibanez will be sidelined for. The groin has bothered him off and on since April, but only recently began affecting his play. After watching Ibanez struggle to move in the outfield and on the basepaths last night, Amaro met with head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan and team doctor Michael Ciccotti and decided to put Ibanez on the disabled list.
As for how long he'll be out, it remains to be seen. He'll have an MRI later today, at which point the Phillies should have a better idea. Still, it sounds like they won't have a good long-term idea until he gets several days into his rehab.
"We'll find out as he goes through his rehab and does the things he needs to do to get it calmed down," Amaro said. "We'll monitor him. We'll monitor him every day and see how he feels and hopefully he'll properly and be ready in 15 days. That's the plan, that'd be great, but I don't know if that's going to happen."
2) I have a gut feeling that the Phillies will be making a deal in the very near future. Again, it is only a feeling, and it's still real early in the trading season, and I could be completely wrong, but there are some circumstantial indications. They've been taking a hard look at Boston righthander Brad Penny, who started last night. The Red Sox will have to figure out their pitching rotation at some point in the next week with John Smoltz scheduled to return to the mound on June 25. They've also got Clay Buchholz pitching his you-know-what off in the minors. The Phillies, meanwhile, have a depleted bullpen with Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge on the disabled list, and will need even more out of their starting pitching now that Raul Ibanez is gone for two weeks and maybe longer.
Former GM Pat Gillick, now a consultant, and director of major league scouting Gordon Lakey are both in town this morning, one night after Phillies scout Jim Fregosi Jr. watched Penny pitched in Boston. Just a coincidence? Could be. But don't be surprised if something happens soon.
3) Brad Lidge threw 42 pitches in a bullpen session today and said he felt great. He is confident that he will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow in Reading. Amaro said the Phillies will send him on one, but only if he feels 100 percent tomorrow. Stay tuned. . .
"We're not going to put him on the mound unless he's 100 percent and he feels like he absolutely has no soreness in there," Amaro said. "Because, again, it doesn't make sense for us to rush him unless he feels 100 percent."