TORONTO -- Veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins is putting the slow start to his season behind him.
The 33-year-old hit just .239 in April and followed that by batting .263 in May. He posted a sub-.700 OPS in both months but has made some adjustments at the plate that have allowed him to get back on track, according to manager Charlie Manuel.
"I think his concentration is better," Manuel said. "He's hitting a few more balls to the opposite field. I think when he gets a hit to the opposite field or up the middle, [opposing pitchers] bring the ball inside to him, and that's how he gets better balls to hit and the chance to hit better.
"He's been playing better; his swing is better."
Rollins entered Friday's series opener against the Blue Jays batting .310 in June, with an .889 OPS, and has scored at least one run in five straight games.
During the current nine-game road trip, Rollins is batting .300 with a homer and three RBIs over six games.
For the season the three-time All-Star has a .257 average, four homers, 18 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.
Halladay throws for first time since hitting DL
TORONTO -- Roy Halladay threw on Friday for the first time since landing on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his back.
Halladay, who is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, made 30 throws from 60 feet and will toss again on Sunday.
"He felt very good, probably better than he expected," said pitching coach Rich Dubee. "He feels much better. There has been a lot of work put in."
Dubee said that Halladay has been handling the rehab process well, but admits that his pitcher is such a competitor that he was impatient since the first day he was unable to throw.
Manager Charlie Manuel said that Halladay has remained quiet on the bench, frustrated that he's unable to help the team. Although Halladay isn't scheduled to return earlier than expected, Manuel believes the fact that he has thrown already is encouraging.
"That's definitely a good sign," Manuel said. "It's good to get him out there. Doc is definitely ready to start throwing the ball and using his arm."
But Manuel also cautioned that the Phillies will be very careful about "turning him loose."
Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, hasn't pitched since May 27, and he only threw two innings before being removed with soreness in his shoulder.
The 35-year-old has thrown 72 1/3 innings this season and has a 4-5 record and 3.98 ERA. Halladay hasn't had an ERA that high in a single season since posting 4.20 in 2004, as a member of the Blue Jays.
Halladay traveled with the team to Toronto -- where he began his Major League career. The right- hander spent parts of 12 seasons with the Blue Jays and won his first Cy Young with them in 2003.
Polanco out of lineup for opener vs. Jays
TORONTO -- Manager Charlie Manuel gave third baseman Placido Polanco the day off on Friday, when the Phils opened a series against the Blue Jays.
Polanco had played in two straight games after missing a week because of an ailing left wrist.
The 36-year-old has a small tear in his tendon, a situation that required him to get a cortisone shot last week, and Manuel will be cautious as a result.
"We got in at four o'clock in the morning, and Polanco has been banged up, and I figured that, especially when I found out [the Blue Jays have] two lefties going Saturday and Sunday, I would keep him back," Manuel said. "That's how I wanted to use him."
Polanco, a right-handed hitter, will face left-handers Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
A 15-year veteran, Polanco is batting .280 on the season with a .668 OPS.
Mike Fontenot got the start at third base on Friday, batting eighth.
Chase Utley played four innings at second base in an extended spring training game on Friday, going 1- for-4 with a walk.
Utley had been rehabbing at Class A Clearwater of the Florida State League, but the league is on its All-Star break, so he went to extended spring to continue seeing game action.
The second baseman has been out the entire season dealing with chronic knee problems, but skipper Charlie Manuel expects him back soon.
"It's going to be the first week in July, more than likely," Manuel said.
Manuel said that Utley needs to start building up the amount of his innings he plays before there's a real sense of when he would be called up.
Ryan Howard played in the same game as Utley and went 3-for-4 with two homers and a double.
Howard did not run during the game but went to a separate field afterward and did some drills at reduced speed.
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.