Brad Lidge eyes Friday return to Phillies’ bullpen

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Brad Lidge made his eighth minor-league rehab appearance today, throwing a scoreless inning at Single-A, and David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that he may be cleared to come off the disabled list as soon as Friday.

Lidge has been mostly impressive in the minors, allowing three runs in 7.2 innings while striking out 10 and walking just one, but he hasn’t pitched for the Phillies since last October due to arm problems.

Philadelphia is said to be in the market for bullpen help, with some reports pegging them as the front-runners to acquire Heath Bell or Mike Adams from the Padres, but Lidge returning Friday and putting together a few impressive outings could change the Phillies’ plans a bit heading into the July 31 trade deadline.

Lidge figures to return as a setup man, with both Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo ahead of him on the closer depth chart.