Notes: Padilla, Tejeda coming back
Padilla to start Saturday; Phils to use Tejeda out of 'pen
PHILADELPHIA -- Vicente Padilla and Rob Tejeda will pitch again this season, and much sooner than expected.Padilla's rib cage and Tejeda's shoulder felt fine after bullpen sessions on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Padilla will start Saturday against the Marlins, while Tejeda will be used out of the bullpen starting Thursday. "That's good news," said manager Charlie Manuel. Padilla missed his last start with a strained sterno-coastal muscle, and rookie Eude Brito provided a boost in his stead with six shutout innings in Monday night's win over Atlanta. Brito likely earned another start, and that could come on Sunday. Tejeda hasn't pitched since Aug. 30, and he will be used exclusively in the bullpen. He had been a huge jolt to the rotation since June, save for one relief appearance on Aug. 24. His value now is in relief. "It would be hard for him to build his pitch count back up," said pitching coach Rich Dubee. "There's value [in the bullpen]. We can't start him, let him go 40 pitches and bring somebody in behind him. We don't have that luxury." Asked what Tejada's role would be in the bullpen, Dubee joked, "to get guys out." Relax and play: Pat Burrell's season of success has been extremely satisfying, as the left fielder has returned to the 30-homer, 100-RBI level that had been routinely expected of him. There's been a calm about him this season, and Manuel said that's important. "Burrell being relaxed is one of the biggest things about him," he said. "He plays the game hard and knows he'll be in the lineup the next day. If he has a bad day, he knows he's still going to play and bounces back. He's comfortable. That's been a huge part of his season." As with most power hitters, Burrell is prone to streaks and high strikeout totals, but he's been remarkably consistent. He hit higher than .300 for the first two months of the season, then hit .265 in June and July before bouncing back again. His average has never fallen below .278. "He's learned not to fight it so much," Manuel said. "With Pat, he wanted to do so good, wanted to make people happy. He wanted to do things right, he wanted to be the guy people expected him to be. Maybe he tried too hard." At 27, Burrell is entering his prime, and Manuel feels his left fielder can be even better. Burrell hopes to meet his RBI goal of driving in 20 runs a month, as long as it helps the Phillies get to the postseason. More important is the satisfaction he feels in skipping wrist surgery last season, despite recommendations from multiple doctors. He's had a few flareups -- a swing in Florida cost him a game in Atlanta, and he missed a series against the Nationals -- but nothing major. "I'm surprised it hasn't been a problem this year, for the most part," Burrell said. "It's felt really good." Quotable: "He's had to do some things. He's had trouble with rotation and bullpen and found ways to win. They play defense, play the game right and put together a good offense. It's very important to use your farm system. It shows young players have talent, ability and just need a chance." --Manuel, on Bobby Cox's managing job this season Coming up: Cory Lidle wasn't at his best in Friday's return from the disabled list, but he survived five innings. He'll face Braves southpaw Horacio Ramirez on Wednesday night in the third game of a four-game series.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.