04/29/10 12:40 PM ET
Lidge to join Phillies' bullpen Friday
After eight rehab appearances, closer heading back to Philly
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Brad Lidge will be activated prior to the team's series opener against the Mets, which begins a 10-game homestand. To make room on the roster, the Phillies optioned lefty Antonio Bastardo to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday.
Lidge was placed on the DL on March 26 to give him more time to recover from offseason surgery on his right elbow. The 33-year-old right-hander then made eight rehab appearances for the Phillies' Class A, Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, posting a 5.19 ERA but tossing seven scoreless innings over his past six outings.
After throwing two scoreless innings for Double-A Reading on Tuesday, Lidge pronounced himself "ready to go," and the Phillies apparently felt the same way.
Lidge is coming off a rough 2009 season that saw him post a 7.21 ERA while blowing 11 of his 42 save chances. He then logged four scoreless innings to start the postseason before giving up three runs to the Yankees in Game 4 of the World Series.
The 24-year-old Bastardo posted a 1.69 ERA through 5 1/3 innings spanning seven appearances.
After wrapping up a 4-5 road trip, the Phillies are off on Thursday.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.