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Lidge could see game action soon

Lidge nearing game action

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CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Sometime in early April, the bullpen doors will open and the alternative metal sounds of Drowning Pool will pulsate through Citizens Bank Park.

Brad Lidge is deciding whether to enter to "Soldiers" or "Bodies (Let the Bodies Hit the Floor)", though he plans to have it worked out by the end of Spring Training. Switching from "The Game," also from Drowning Pool, Lidge likes the adrenaline that comes from a harder song.

He's leaning toward "Soldiers" because of the loud sirens that begin the song.

"It gets you fired up when you come into a game," Lidge said. "It's important to feel like we're not pumping a lame song when we're running out there."

Lidge ideally would like to hear that tune on March 31 in Philadelphia, and the team's closer took another step toward that goal on Wednesday. He threw 26 pitches in his second bullpen session, and he will graduate to batting practice on Friday and Sunday.

With continued progression, he could make an appearance in a Minor League or simulated game sometime next week.

"I felt outstanding again," Lidge said. "It feels like it's coming really fast, so I think next week is a possibility for getting in games."

Lidge added running in a pool to his daily regimen, as he continues to rehab from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. His next test will be fielding, which will challenge his lateral movement.

Though he's keeping March 31 as his goal, he understands that the team may be cautious.

"They [may] try and hold me back, if anything, because missing a couple of days at the beginning of the season is better than coming back too fast and going on the DL again," Lidge said. "That being said, they're going to make sure I feel good and I can do everything. We'll know if I'm ready based on how I'm throwing in games."

Two bullpen mounds to Lidge's right, Adam Eaton also progressed well in his second bullpen session.

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While being heckled from a fan stationed 10 feet away, Eaton tossed 25 pitches and remains on schedule to pitch in a Minor League game on Saturday, likely at the Carpenter Complex.

"My arm strength felt great," Eaton said. "Arm-wise, I feel fine. My location was good. I was a lot more consistent. I'll just tune it up and be ready to go on Saturday."

Eaton found the barbs humorous, but repetitive.

"He was yelling at everybody," Eaton said. "He was digging on a couple people and giving a couple people kudos. Typical Phillies fan. That was pretty tame. I don't mind it. I've had worse, and I'm going to have worse. That's the way of the world."

In other pitching news, Cole Hamels' scheduled outing in a Minor League game was cancelled on Wednesday because the lefty had the flu. The team hopes he can pitch on Thursday.

Kris Benson is scheduled to throw 60 pitches in a Minor League game at Dunedin, on Thursday.

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

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