In addition to Cole Hamels, Mike Adams and Jonathan Pettibone both threw off the mound on Wednesday morning. Both faced hitters in live batting practice sessions.
It was the second time Pettibone faced hitters. Pettibone's next step could be to jump into a game, whether it's in the Grapefruit schedule or in minor league camp.
Although pitchers generally need a month of game time before they're ready for the regular season, Pettibone is hoping he'll come along "sooner than that."
With Hamels out of the rotation for the first half of April, the Phillies are one starter short in a five-man rotation that includes Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez. Since there are two off days within the first eight days of the regular season schedule, the Phillies do not need a fifth starter until April 13.
Pettibone believes he can be ready by then.
"That'd be perfect," he said, "if everything works out."
Everything hasn't exactly worked out for Pettibone in the last 6 months, however, so it's far from a done deal that he will continue to progress without a setback. Pettibone missed the last two months of the 2013 season with shoulder pain; he was shut down shortly after workouts began last month.
Adams, who had shoulder surgery on July 31, is likely to pitch another live BP session before jumping into a Grapefruit League game some time next week.
"Every time I go out there, I feel a little bit better," the veteran set-up man said. "The strength is there."
Adams isn't expected to be ready by Opening Day, as he would need around 8-to-10 outings of game action between the Grapefruit League schedule and extended spring.