Lidge throws... plus Werth's beard

Jayson Werth showed up for spring training with a beard. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Brad Lidge threw 20 pitches off a mound earlier today, the first time he's thrown off a mound since the 2009 season ended.

The closer called the session "very successful." Lidge threw all fastballs despite pleading his case to throw a slider or two to pitching coach Rich Dubee. Dubee wasn't having any of it.

"He knows his body better than we know his body," Dubee said. "But at the same time we have to make sure he isn't trying to skip steps. Today he wanted to throw sliders. I said, 'No. It's your first time on the mound.'"

Dubee said Lidge will likely take two days off and throw off a mound again on Thursday. He won't be throwing sliders then either.

The Phillies are being conscious about holding Lidge back. Lidge said he hasn't ruled opening day out yet, but if it doesn't happen, he isn't worried about it. He figures he has shaved some time off his initial assessment of being two weeks behind.

Dubee isn't putting a timetable on Lidge's return.

"It remains to be seen. How quickly his arm comes around, how quickly he gets to full strength, how he responds knee wise and elbow wise...I'm not putting any timetable on it."

Much of the talk inside the clubhouse today centered around Jayson Werth's new facial hair. He has a beard. A massive one. Various comparisons overheard in the clubhouse today:

-- Forrest Gump running across the country

-- Sasquatch

-- Johnny Damon from his Red Sox days

-- Grizzly Adams

-- "A cross between Jesus Christ and the Geico caveman." -- Brad Lidge

Werth is expected to talk to reporters shortly. We'll pass along some of what he says later.

I will be chatting at 2 p.m. in the post below this one. Come join us.