03/05/08 5:10 PM ET
Notes: Rollins not worried about slump
Reigning NL MVP focuses on preparing for regular season
By Chris Girandola / Special to MLB.com
"The numbers don't really matter, because you're just trying to get things straightened out," said Rollins, who entered Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays with one hit in 13 at-bats. "I'm working on staying back on the ball, making sure my hands are doing well, if I'm squared up to the ball."
When asked if his 2007 National League MVP season could have some effect on his numbers this spring, much like '06 NL MVP Ryan Howard's numbers paled during last year's camp, Rollins said it changed his approach in a positive sense.
"If anything, I would say I'm more relaxed," said Rollins, who went 1-for-2 and scored a run in Wednesday's 6-1 win over Toronto. "Once March 31st rolls around ... everything before that doesn't matter. Spring numbers are spring numbers. What matters is what happens after spring ends."
Closer getting close: Phillies closer Brad Lidge long-tossed with pitching coach Rich Dubee on Wednesday and said his return might come sooner than expected.
Lidge, who caught his spike on his first pitch of batting practice on Feb. 23 and subsequently had arthroscopic right knee surgery, has been playing catch every day since and hopes to throw off the mound early next week.
"I might go straight into games after that, depending on how it's coming out of my hand," Lidge said. "I may have a live batting practice-type thing, or if it comes out of my hand good and it feels good, I can go into a game then."
Lidge remains hopeful he could return by Opening Day.
"It looks like everything has to keep going right like it has so far, but if it does, I'm still optimistic about being ready for [Opening Day]," Lidge said. "It will really be based on how I feel after getting off the mound for the first time."
Masterful Myers: Ace Brett Myers tossed four scoreless innings on Wednesday against the Blue Jays in the Phillies' 6-1 win. The right-hander had two strikeouts while throwing 43 pitches (31 strikes).
"I felt fine and I'm on schedule," said Myers, who threw 11 of 15 first-pitch strikes. "I feel alright, not terrible and not in midseason shape. But for the most part, everything went well."
Myers, who gave up two hits, including a first-inning triple, was most pleased with the command of his fastball.
"I missed spots when I tried throwing a cutter, but other than that, everything went smoothly," he said.
More game Phillers: Against the Jays, Chase Utley went 1-for-3 with a two-run double, his fourth two-bagger of Spring Training. ... Carlos Ruiz also hit a two-run double against Toronto, continuing his hot-hitting spring. ... Reliever Ryan Madson allowed one run on two hits over two innings.
Coming up: Right-hander Adam Eaton opposes Rays right-hander at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Eaton will be followed by Chad Durbin, Joe Bisenius and J.C. Romero.
Chris Girandola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.