CLEARWATER, Fla. -- We've reached that point in spring training when everyone has an eye toward heading North. That won't come for another week, but time is dwindling.
You know the storylines by now. Decisions on second base and right field loom. One bullpen spot is open. With 11 days of exhibition games left, really, everyone just wants to come away unscathed and finally begin this season.
Brad Lidge (biceps tendinitis) is one of the currently injured Phillies who still has a few things to accomplish before the season starts. He threw another bullpen session Sunday morning and reported no problems. He expects to pitch in a game Tuesday.
"It felt really good," Lidge said. "I'm definitely encouraged by this one."
Lidge says he thinks he can make four or five more appearances before opening day on April 1. On Sunday, he simulated a real outing by warming up for 20 pitches, sitting down for a brief period and then threw 15 pitches.
Lidge said he could go in back-to-back days before the season begins, but "I'll leave that up to them." Them being Rich Dubee, of course.
The Yankees are here and apparently everyone is excited. A stadium employee said fans began lining up for berm tickets at 2 a.m. The line wrapped around Bright House Field around 9:30 a.m.
Here is the Phillies lineup:
1. Shane Victorino 8
2. Michael Martinez 4
3. Jimmy Rollins 6
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Ben Francisco 7
6. John Mayberry Jr. 9
7. Carlos Ruiz 2
8. Wilson Valdez 5
9. Joe Blanton 1
Interesting to see Martinez at second after a rough day for Josh Barfield at second in Sarasota. He misplayed three balls. Later, Martinez came into the game at shortstop and made two dazzling plays.
And yes, that is what we're left with at this point in the spring. Drama is low.
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