Jimmy Rollins thinks he is ready to play, and it's safe to say that his opinion is the one that counts the most. The All-Star short stop, sidelined with a calf strain since April 12, was scheduled to fly back to Philadelphia today after making his first rehab appearance for Clearwater yesterday.
The Phillies could postpone activating Rollins once he returns, but all of their minor league affiliates are on the road, so he won't be making a rehab start tomorrow.
And if Rollins feels like he is ready to play, the club is likely to listen to him.
It could mean the end of the Wilson Valdez era in Philadelphia. Manuel said yesterday the team needs to keep 12 pitchers, meaning one of their five current bench players will have to go. The Phillies will have to DFA Valdez, meaning another team can claim him off waivers, or he can later elect free agency and sign elsewhere. He also could accept an assignment back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
J.A. Happ and pitching coach Rich Dubee were happy with his long toss session today, meaning the rehabbing lefty will attempt to throw a bullpen session within the next couple of days. The last time Happ tried to throw off a mound, Dubee quickly ended the session when his elbow soreness returned.
Happ still has a long road in front of him: he'll likely need a couple of bullpen sessions and an up-and-down session, then several rehab starts (he hasn't pitched since April 15), all of them without any set-backs. Even if everything goes perfectly, he won't be back until sometime in June.
Carlos Ruiz caught Jamie Moyer in a bullpen session today and was happy with the way his sprained knee felt. He is available in an emergency tonight, but has a shot at returning to the line-up tomorrow.