Roy Oswalt could be back on the active roster sometime during the first week of August if all goes according to plan.
The veteran righthander threw a 45-pitch bullpen session prior to Sunday's game against the Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Afterward, Oswalt said everything went smoothly and that he still anticipates making a rehab start at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. After that, he and the Phillies will decide whether he needs to make another appearance in the minors before he is ready to re-join the active roster. Oswalt suggested earlier this week that he could be ready after just one rehab outing. But the Phillies want to play it safe with the 33-year-old veteran, who has not pitched since late-June due to a sore lower back caused by a couple of bulging discs.
Oswalt guessed that he would throw around 60 pitches in his first rehab outing. Five days after that outing would be Aug. 1, which is when the Phillies open up a 10-game west coast road trip through Colorado, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Placido Polanco could begin a rehab assignment around the same time Oswalt begins his. Polanco is hoping to return by the start of that 10-game road trip. The Phillies could have some tough decisions to make over the next week with regards to their bench. Currently, Ross Gload, Wilson Valdez, Brian Schneider, John Mayberry Jr. and Ben Francisco make up the bench. But when Polanco returns, utility man Michael Martinez will slide back to the bench. So who goes? Not Schneider. Not Martinez, who has played very well as of late. Valdez has been seldom used since the emergence of Martinez, plus he is probably a good bet to clear waivers and accept an assignment to the minors. But keep in mind the Phillies are also looking to trade for a right-handed hitting outfielder. If they were to add one, you'd have to figure that either John Mayberry Jr., Ben Francisco or Domonic Brown would be headed to the minors. All of them have options.
Should make for an interesting week.
Here is today's lineup:
- Jimmy Rollins SS
- Michael Martinez 3B
- Chase Utley 2B
- Ryan Howard 1B
- Shane Victorino CF
- Raul Ibanez LF
- Domonic Brown RF
- Carlos Ruiz C
- Roy Halladay RHP
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