Brad Lidge

Brad Lidge hoping to return to live games Tuesday

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Phillies closer Brad Lidge has not appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 11 due to tendinitis in his right biceps muscle. The veteran right-hander will look to change that early this week.

According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Lidge threw a successful bullpen session Sunday morning in Phillies camp. He fired 35 pitches and reported no issues with his arm, telling reporters that he was “very encouraged by this one.”

Lidge had been holding back in recent throwing workouts with the aim of avoiding a setback, but he let it loose Sunday with Opening Day looming and the results were positive.

“It still felt really good,” he said. “This is the step we needed to get me back into games. Now hopefully I’ll get four or five outings in. That should be enough. I feel real comfortable with everything right now, and fortunately we’ve still got a few days.”

The 34-year-old posted a healthy 2.96 ERA and 1.23 WHIP across 50 appearances last year and saved 27 games. He is fully expected to be ready for the start of the 2011 regular season.

Video: Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran give signs from the dugout

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers stands in the dugout before their game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 23, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.

You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.