CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The daily chronicle of Brad Lidge's surgically repaired right meniscus has reached this point: The team's closer graduated to batting practice on a back field at the Carpenter Complex on Friday. Lidge threw a total of 35 tosses to a collection of hitters that included Pete Laforest, Brandon Watson and Ray Olmedo. His personal review was positive, though not overwhelmingly so. "It was good to face hitters," Lidge said. "Most of my stuff felt pretty good. Mechanically, I'm not totally happy, but that should come soon. The way the ball is coming out of my hand, my arm feels really good. I should be able to catch up real fast."
Lidge broke at least one bat during his session, and gauged reactions that can't come from a bullpen session. He'll repeat this process on Monday, and will be ready for a game by Wednesday or Thursday. "This was a lot of fun for me, to be able to do this today," Lidge said. "There's no way to simulate facing hitters. It's what makes Spring Training good, the days where you get to face guys."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.