Tuesday’s MRI “revealed a small tear in the posterior rotator cuff of Lidge’s right shoulder” and Lidge will be shut down for three to six weeks.

That doesn’t mean you should be looking for Lidge to pitch with the Phils in three to six weeks. It means he won’t be throwing at all for 3-6 weeks. This suggests we should be looking for him in the second half of the season.

This article from the Phillies web site says that Contreras is Manuel’s choice to start the year as closer. I’m going to be surprised if that works. I’m also going to be surprised if Madson doesn’t get some save chances early in the year.

Madson is the best pitcher in the bullpen for the Phillies. It would be a mistake not to have him pitching in the most important situations.

The Phils beat the Pirates 8-5 last night.

Oswalt got the start and didn’t pitch well, allowing five runs on five hits and four walks over five innings, giving him a 6.11 ERA and a 1.42 ratio in five starts this spring. He has also allowed four runs in 17 2/3 innings that were unearned. So he hasn’t pitched well.

Romero, Herndon, Bastardo and Madson combined to throw four scoreless innings after Oswalt left in which they allowed two hits and a walk. Herndon threw 1 2/3 innings in the game, but threw just 20 pitches.

Michael Stutes pitched the ninth. He struck out the first two batters he faced before walking Neil Walker, then struck Andrew McCutchen out swinging to end the game. In seven spring appearances he has an 0.82 ERA and an 0.55 ratio. He’s struck out 14 in 11 innings and opponents are hitting .108 against him. So he’s pitching well.

Francisco went 1-for-4 with his fifth spring home run. Castillo was 2-for-4 with a stolen base an RBI. He’s 6-for-23 (.261) with four walks since joining the Phils. I think he makes the team.

Mayberry 1-for-1 to up his line to 299/356/597 in 67 at-bats. Martinez 0-for-1, he’s hitting .239 and on-basing .257. Don’t let people go telling you he had a good spring (at least not with the bat). Young was 0-for-1 and is at 267/313/350. Orr started the game at third and went 1-for-3. He’s at 273/286/491 in 55 at-bats.

Polanco didn’t start the game. He says his elbow is still sore and expects to play today.

Hamels starts this afternoon in the final spring game for the Phils.

The Phillies have removed Matt Rizzotti from the 40-man roster to make room for, well, someone. Castillo is my guess.

Update: Will Jose Contreras be able to go back-to-back days for the Phils this year? No idea. But he sure was fantastic when he did it in 2010.

There were 19 games in which Contreras appeared in 2010 when he had pitched the previous day. Here are his numbers in those games:

19 16 2/3 8 4 19 0.54 0.72

Those numbers include the two times in which he threw three days in a row. Contreras pitched May 8, 9 and 10 and also on August 24, 25 and 26. On May 10 and August 26 combined, he threw two scoreless innings and allowed one hit.

On May 10 he pitched for the third day in a row in part because Lidge had a sore elbow. On August 26 he only threw five pitches in the game.

So if there’s no problem with the results, the thing you might want to worry about is how seldom it happened that the Phils called on Contreras to go three days in a row. By comparison, from August 14 to August 31 of 2010, the Phils called on Madson to pitch on August 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29 and 31. That’s three days in a row twice in a seven-day period. He would also pitch on Septmember 6, 7 and 8. He was great, too. Between August 14 and Septmeber 8, Madson made 18 appearances for the Phils in which he threw to a 1.02 ERA and an 0.74 ratio while striking out 24 in 17 2/3 innings.