Rollins learned importance of caution


Shortstop Jimmy Rollins said he learned a lesson from the first serious injury he suffered early in 2008, so he wasn't going to make the same mistake again with the strained right calf he suffered before Monday's season opener.

"I went through it a couple of years ago, going back and forth, not letting my ankle heal properly beginning," Rollins said Wednesday in reference to a sprained left ankle injury that he initially hoped he could play through. "When I did it this time, the D.L. wasn't the first thought. I thought maybe it's something that will feel much better tomorrow, but when they did the MRI and told me it was a 1 or 2 grade sprain, and that they usually heal pretty well, why take the chance if you have a full, able-bodied person who can go out there everyday and contribute where I couldn't."

Rollins is eligible to come off the disabled list April 28 when the Phillies are in San Francisco and general manager Ruben Amaro estimated it would be two to four weeks before the shortstop is back in the lineup.

"That's what they tell everybody for everything these days -- two to four weeks," Rollins said. "But between today and Monday, it's much better. It's not even comparable to the way it felt. So if things continue to progress the way they have over the last 48 hours, hopefully it will be just two weeks."

As expected, center fielder Shane Victorino moved into the leadoff spot in Rollins' absence and Juan Castro took over at shortstop. Castro moved to the seventh spot and catcher Carlos Ruiz remained in usual eighth spot. The Phillies filled Rollins' roster spot by purchasing the contract of veteran infielder Wilson Valdez.

Manager Charlie Manuel said he didn't consider flipping Castro and Ruiz in the lineup for a simple reason.

"I think Castro can hit a little bit," Manuel said. "I think he's got a good swing. I think he's got a good approach. I think he's probably a better hitter than people think he is."

Werth doing well

Right fielder Jayson Werth remained out of the lineup but is available after leaving Monday's game with a sore left hip.

"He's available," Manuel said. "I just figurued I'd give him a day to rest. More than likely I'll play him (Thursday)."

Strong outing for Lidge

Closer Brad Lidge had the best outing of his rehab stint Wednesday, pitching a scoreless inning for single-A Clearwater against the Tampa Yankees. Lidge walked the leadoff hitter, but rebounded with consecutive strikeouts and only had to face three batters because the hitter who walked was caught stealing.

"He threw extremely well," Amaro said. "He took a nice step forward. His slider was tighter. He had better location. I guess his velocity was 90-91. He felt good. He was much sharper and crisper."

Lidge and lefthander J.C. Romero, who is also on the disabled list, were both scheduled to fly into Philadelphia Wednesday night and take part in the team's National League champion ring ceremony. Both pitchers will also be examined by team physician Michael Ciccotti Thursday.

Amaro said it's possible that both pitchers could rejoin the team at some point during the team's upcoming nine-game road trip.

"A lot of it depends on the re-evaluation of Dr. Ciccotti and how they continue progressing in their rehab," Amaro said.