Notes: Abreu sits out, but stays put
Amid trade rumors, outfielder not in lineup against Willis
PHILADELPHIA -- Bobby Abreu and Charlie Manuel knew the implications and shrugged them off.Abreu wasn't in the Phillies' starting lineup on Saturday night because lefty Dontrelle Willis was starting for the Marlins, not because the walking trade rumor was about to be dealt. "[Manuel] told me a few days ago," said Abreu, smiling. The smile suggested, "I know what you're getting at," but Abreu would say no more. Despite numbers that show Abreu hitting .300 against lefties and .265 in his career vs. Willis with no homers, Abreu sat. He didn't need the time to pack his belongings or to exchange hugs with teammates, as David Bell did after Friday's game. Abreu, who ironically wore shorts with Yankees colors, maintained his stance of "seeing what happens." With the non-waiver trade deadline approaching on Monday at 4 p.m. ET, Abreu has been traded just about everywhere. Of the suitors, the Yankees appear to be the most likely destination, and the latest rumor has Abreu and pitcher Jon Lieber heading to the Bronx in a deal that doesn't include top pitching prospect Phillip Hughes. Such a deal would be strictly for salary relief. "They're one of the best teams in baseball," Abreu said of the Bronx Bombers. "There's been a lot of rumors and talk. You just have to keep playing." Like Bell, Abreu said his one regret would be not winning a championship while in Philadelphia, and he isn't necessarily itching to get out. "I've been here since '98," Abreu said. "I have a house here. I like Philly. But it's a business. I don't really want to go." Lidle, too: Cory Lidle almost shared a flight to Milwaukee with Bell. Before finalizing Friday's deal that sent Bell to the Brewers for Minor League reliever Wilfredo Laureano, the teams discussed a bigger trade that would've included a Phils pitcher, believed to be Lidle. "We had minor discussion of names, and then they thought they could do better elsewhere, so they turned their attention elsewhere," said Milwaukee assistant GM Gord Ash, who would not confirm if Lidle was the player discussed. The Phillies wanted what Ash termed "significant" prospects in return, and said the Brewers wouldn't do that "for a two-month pitcher." Lidle, who is in the second season of a two-year, $6.3 million deal, has a feeling that he could be relocating. "It makes me feel like I might be involved in something," Lidle said in the aftermath of the Bell deal. "I don't necessarily know whether it will be before or after the deadline." Second chance: With two big-league at-bats to his name, Danny Sandoval wasn't in danger of entering Moonlight Graham territory, but it was still nice to get another chance to stare down a big-league pitcher. Sandoval was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday to fill the spot vacated by Bell. Sandoval started on Saturday in place of the injured Jimmy Rollins and collected his first big-league hit off Willis in the Phils' seven-run third inning. Sandoval learned of his promotion on Friday night while icing the right knee where he had been hit by a pitch a few days earlier. "I was trying to put some ice on it," he said. "[Red Barons manager John Russell] said, 'Forget about the treatment, just pack your stuff and go to Philly.' So I just did what he said." Unlike the character from "Field of Dreams," Sandoval was able to get two at-bats -- both outs -- in his first Major League stint. He was also with the team in Spring Training. "Last year, he had a big season offensively and defensively, too," Manuel said. "In Spring Training, he made the plays when I played him at shortstop, and he was swinging the bat a little bit." Sandoval was hitting .256 with two homers and 39 RBIs for the Red Barons, who entered Saturday in a first-place tie at 60-46. Still, Sandoval has no problem leaving the winning team behind. "You come over here and it's a different story," he said. "You just come over here and try to do your job." Debut: Randy Wolf sees it as starting his Major League career over again. "It's more like the day before my debut," Wolf said on the day before his return to a Major League mound. "When you have surgery, it's kind of like the day you get drafted. Everything you have to do from that point on is in your hands. It's your job get back to the big leagues. And when you get the big leagues after an injury, it's just like your debut. You have to prove that you're OK." Wolf, who will start Sunday's opener of a split twin bill, pitched five no-hit innings in his final tuneup for Class A Lakewood, and said the return trip to Philadelphia was one of his favorite drives. "That drive home was great because I knew that five days later, I'll be back," Wolf said. "It's been about a year and a half. You have a lot of anxiousness. You're nervous. I'm very excited to get to this point. This is one of the things I love, and I'm going to be doing it again." Getting closer: Only an injury would keep Rollins from facing Willis. That was the case for the third straight day, when Rollins' strained left hamstring felt better, but not good enough to play. Hitting and running the bases don't bother Rollins as much as moving side-to-side, i.e., fielding. "It's just side-to-side," he said. "The morning [after], I felt bad. The day after that, I felt 100 percent better. And the next day, I felt 100 percent than that. But it's not 100 percent, either. I just feel that much better. If I feel better [on Sunday], I might try to stretch it out. I can't get to some balls right now, and that hurts the team, because Abraham [Nunez] can." Coming up: Wolf, who last made a start in the big leagues on June 11, 2005, gets the nod in Game 1 of Sunday's split twin bill at 1:35 p.m. ET. Wolf, who underwent Tommy John elbow surgery on July 1, 2005, will oppose Anibal Sanchez in the opener.
In Game 2, scheduled for 7:35 p.m., Ryan Madson -- who tied an NL record in his previous outing when he uncorked four wild pitches in an inning to run his season total to 10 -- opposes fellow righty Brian Moehler.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.