Madson back in bullpen, but not back as closer

Ryan Madson will be eligible for free agency after this season. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

 Ryan Madson is back from the disabled list, but not back as the closer.

Placido Polanco is on the disabled list, but if he has his way it will not be for long.

And if pitching coach Rich Dubee and manager Charlie Manuel are upset about Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee being overworked at the All-Star Game, they are not going to say so publicly.

Madson, after throwing seven pitches in a rehab outing with single-A Clearwater Wednesday, was activated from the disabled list Friday, but manager Charlie Manuel said he will not immediately use him as the closer.

"He hasn't pitched," Dubee said. "Like anything in this game, it's not that easy. I saw him pitch in Port Charlotte and he threw the ball very, very well. But, again, I think it's more beneficial to have him pitch here then it is having him going down on a rehab assignment. We'll ease him back into that closer's role. When that time is, he'll let us know by the way he's throwing. A lot of it is going to depend on how he feels and how he responds."

For now, however, Antonio Bastardo remains the closer. Dubee also indicated that Madson will not be used in consecutive games for the time being.

"If the finger doesn't flair up eventually we'll be able to use him back to back," Dubee said. "It will be tough to use him back to back right away."

Madson, sidelined since June 18 with a severe contusion on his pitching hand that he first suffered in a May 18 outing against Colorado, said he had no problem with being eased back into the closer role.

"I'm totally OK with that," Madson said. "I kind of want to get my feet wet as well. "

Madson said he was pain free during his rehab appearance and despite its brevity he was also able to throw all his pitches. Dubee said Madson's fastball was clocked at 94 m.p.h.

Polanco, meanwhile, landed on the disabled list with lower back inflammation, an injury that had kept him out of the lineup since July 5 and has hindered his ability to play the game for more than a month. He said he thinks he'll be able to return Wednesday when the team is in Chicago, but Manuel said he will be cautious.

"I want him to be able to play at 100 percent," Manuel said. "I want him well. I want him to be able to go out and play and be comfortable and playing the way we know he can play."

Polanco said he is feeling considerably better and he took batting practice before the game.

After watching Halladay and Lee pitch the first 3 2/3 innings of the All-Star Game for the National League, the Phillies pushed their two aces first starts of the second half back to Monday and Tuesday against the Cubs in Chicago.

Manuel and Dubee had made public pleas for a lesser workload for their two aces, but they went ignored by San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy. Manuel said he did not make any specific request to Bochy.

"I thought there was a chance he would have started (Atlanta's) Jair Jurrjens and maybe Roy and Cliff would each pitch one," Manuel said. "They definitely wanted to pitch." 

Dubee said "I think they were handled to win the game."

The pitching, in turn, is handling his two aces with care by making sure they do not pitch this weekend. Halladay will pitch the series opener against the Cubs Monday at Wrigley Field and Lee will pitch Tuesday.

Asked specifically if he thought his pitchers were overly worked by Bochy, Dubee would not answer.

"That's not for me to say," he said. "I got my opinion, but everybody has an opinion. Mine is not worth any more than anybody else's. Bruce did what he had to do to win the ballgame. Bruce did what he did to win the ballgame and with the value to the All-Star Game that's what you're supposed to do."

Dubee said he does not know if he'll skip Kyle Kendrick's second turn after the break to give Halladay a chance to pitch against San Francisco in a July 28 game at Citizens Bank Park. If the Phillies do not skip Kendrick, the Giants will not face Halladay or Lee.

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