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Notes: Eaton's back diagnosis good

Notes: Eaton's back diagnosis good

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Adam Eaton mentioned "mild arthritis" and "herniated disc" in describing what ails his lower back.

The findings officially were called a "small disc herniation" by athletic trainer Scott Sheridan.

"The most important thing to know about that it's not pressing against the nerve root," Sheridan said. "That is your concern."

Absent of that diagnosis, Eaton remains encouraged that it won't sideline him long. The righty threw a bullpen session Saturday and will do the same on Monday. Assuming progress, he's eyeing a start at some point this week, perhaps Thursday.

"We'll see," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "He'll throw [Monday] and we'll see how he progresses."

Eaton still expects to be ready for Opening Day.

"Obviously, I want to take precautions now to [not aggravate] it more," Eaton said. "I've been doing stuff in the past couple of weeks to be ready, and I don't have thoughts of why I shouldn't be ready. I'll do a strengthening program to take some of the stress away."

Though relieved to know his condition isn't serious, Eaton remains cautious. He acknowledged that his back may be an issue all season -- the second year of his three-year, $24.5 million deal -- but hopes to corral it to the point of being able to pitch.

"It's good to know that it's nothing more severe," Eaton said. "I would say it's good that nothing was surprising."

On schedule:Brad Lidge will throw a bullpen session Monday on the two-week anniversary of his arthroscopic right knee surgery, the first significant step toward his return.

That will He hopes to throw again Wednesday, then throw batting practice during the weekend. The closer's goal is to appear in a Grapefruit League game next week.

He'll throw 25 pitches.

Lidge hopes to throw a pair of bullpens this week, then face live hitters twice, allowing for him time to appear in Grapefruit League games and be ready for the regular season.

"Everything has to go right," he said. "But, so far, everything has gone right."

Is that realistic?

"Let's see how [today] goes," Sheridan said. "But I like how he thinks. He's got goals in mind. He's done well, nothing you wouldn't expect for a guy who [Monday] will just be two weeks post-surgery. He still has some swelling, which, again, you kind of expect. He's done very, very well."

Cuts: Joe Savery savored his first big league camp, but it's time to begin his Minor League career. The prized lefty was one of 13 players cut by the Phillies on Sunday.

"I was glad to be a part of this," said Savery, who allowed six earned runs in five innings, while walking six and whiffing five and allowing a home run. "These guys have gone far above and beyond the call of duty. Every one of them, at some point, has walked up to me and said, 'Hey, try this.' I'm really appreciative and humbled by their willingness to help a young guy out."

"Savery's got a good arm," manager Charlie Manuel said. "His fastball jumps the last six or seven feet. He just needs experience. He's got some work to do and he'll do it through experience. He's got a lot of talent and he's going to pitch in the big leagues for us."

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Players optioned to Minor League camp were: right-hander Joe Bisenius, left-hander J.A. Happ and infielder Brad Harman.

Those reassigned to Minor League camp: right-handed pitchers Ron Chiavacci and Zack Segovia; left-handed pitcher Brian Mazone; catchers Tuffy Gosewisch and Lou Marson; infielders Jason Donald, Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy; and outfielder Valentino Pascucci.

The Phillies are down to 50 players in camp. Surviving the first cuts were top pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco, Josh Outman and outfielder Greg Golson.

On Golson, Manuel said, "He's got tremendous ability. We think he's got the talent and ability to play in the big leagues, but want to get him going and get his confidence to a high level. He's been hitting the ball good, but 10 to 12 at-bats in Spring Training is not a season."

Pee-Wee: OK, so Pee Wee Herman didn't attend Sunday's game, as had originally been thought.

Yes, you read that correctly. Paul Reubens and pitcher Scott Mathieson struck up a conversation on a recent flight from Los Angeles to Florida (Reubens' mother lives in Sarasota) and Mathieson had left tickets for the game.

Reubens had to cancel.

Mathieson grew up watching "Pee Wee's Playhouse" (who didn't?) and the two have become friends.

Philling in: Golfers Pat Perez and John Daly stopped by Bright House Field on Sunday, and Daly took a round of batting practice. Manuel said Daly told him that he throws 85 mph. Daly missed the cut at the PODS Championship in Palm Harbor this weekend, and also threw out a ceremonial first pitch ... Right-hander Kris Benson will throw a bullpen session on Monday and is scheduled to throw in a Minor League game on Thursday. It will be his second appearance in a game.

Coming up: Brett Myers is scheduled to pitch Monday in a Minor League game at the Carpenter Complex, while J.D. Durbin travels to Bradenton, Fla., to face Pittsburgh at 1:05 p.m. ET. Setup man Tom Gordon is also scheduled to pitch.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }