05/27/10 6:30 PM ET
Ruiz returns to Phillies' lineup
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Ruiz has been bothered with soreness in the shoulder for about a month, but Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Ruiz told him Thursday he could play.
Steals coming in bunches against Phils
NEW YORK -- If it seems like the New York Mets have been stealing a lot of bases against the Phillies, they have.
The Mets stole seven bases in the first two games of the three-game series against them this week at Citi Field. But the Mets are not the only team that runs on the Phils. Philadelphia has a 78.9 stolen-base percentage against, which ranks 10th in the National League. The Cardinals lead the league at 55 percent, thanks to catcher Yadier Molina. The Pirates are last at 92.7 percent.
The Phillies ranked 13th at 81.2 percent in 2009 and 15th at 82.6 percent in '08.
Stealing bases against Philadelphia is nothing new. Pitching coach Rich Dubee said most of the responsibility falls on the pitchers, who need to have quick deliveries to the plate. They need to throw to first base. They need to vary the amount of time they hold the ball before they throw, so baserunners can't time their deliveries to the plate. They need to pitch out every once in a while.
The slide step is one way to quicken a delivery, right?
Forget that, Dubee said.
"I've seen so many slide steps go out of the ballpark, because you're worried about a guy stealing a base so you hang a slider and it's hit 40 rows up," Dubee said.
The Mets stole four bases Wednesday, which was surprising because Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton is difficult to run on. But Blanton, who was battling a head cold, unknowingly changed his delivery. He typically gets the ball to the plate in 1.2 seconds, but it jumped to 1.5 seconds, which is plenty of time for a good runner to steal a base.
But Dubee, like many pitching coaches, is adamantly opposed to the slide step because he said, "I don't think you can go with two different deliveries. I think it's hard enough to repeat one delivery. To go from 1.5 to 1.1, that's awfully tough for me. I don't know if it's as much velocity as it is command and location and consistency. You're doing one thing and all of a sudden you're going to go real fast? I see too many balls popping out lights out there."
Lidge throws, could return Monday
NEW YORK -- Phillies closer Brad Lidge said he had another good bullpen session before Thursday's game against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
He said he plans to make a rehab appearance Saturday with Class A Clearwater.
If it goes well, Lidge, who threw 40 pitches Thursday, could be activated as early as Monday for the team's series in Atlanta. Lidge has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 15 because of inflammation in his right elbow.
Phils discuss rescheduling Rox game
NEW YORK -- Charlie Manuel called a team meeting following Wednesday's 5-0 loss to the New York Mets at Citi Field. The Phillies had been shut out three times in four games for the first time since 1990, and he wanted to speak his mind.
The players then called a players-only meeting before Thursday's series finale.
More clearing the air?
"That's about something else," Manuel said.
It was. The players met to talk about rescheduling the May 12 game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, which was postponed because of rain. No word yet on when the game will be played.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.