Phillies-Nationals Notes: Seanez In, Helms Out, Cordero Still Out

Todd TranauskyCorrespondent IApril 2, 2008

The Phillies signed 39-year old RHP Rudy Seanez before Wednesday’s game against the Nationals to help out in their beleaguered bullpen.

Seanez was released by the Dodgers at the end of spring training. Seanez is entering his 17th Major League season and has pitched with the Indians, Dodgers, and Braves during his career.

To make room for Seanez on the roster, 3B Wes Helms was designated for assignment. The Phillies now have ten days to release him, trade him, or send him to the minors.

Helms is starting his 10th Major League season after hitting .246 for the Phils last year. He played for the Braves, Brewers, and Marlins, before the Phillies signed him as a free agent prior to the 2007 season.

There are rumors the Dodgers could be interested in acquiring Helms after he likely becomes a free agent in ten days.  

Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden announced that Felipe Lopez will make his first start of the season for the Nationals in Thursday’s matinee. Bowden announced that Lopez will play leftfield in the final game of the three-game series against the Phillies.

Nationals RHP Chad Cordero had a cortisone shot for shoulder tendonitis on Sunday and will be unavailable for Thursday’s game against the Phillies. Cordero will throw before the game and hopes to be ready to return to action when the Nationals open a three-game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals on Friday night. Cordero has not pitched since receiving the shot.

Thursday’s matinee will feature Phillies LHP Jamie Moyer taking on Nationals RHP Jason Bergmann. The game starts at 1:05PM.

The Phillies travel to Cincinnati, OH on Friday where they will open a four game series against the Reds.  The series marks the start of a seven-game road trip that will take the Phillies to New York next week.

The Phillies expect RHP Brad Lidge to come off the Disabled List on Saturday in Cincinnati, the first day he is eligible. Lidge went on the Disabled List in spring training after catching a spike in the mound and straining a ligament in his knee.

Lidge was acquired from the Astros this past off-season and is coming off an unrelated knee surgery.  RHP Clay Condrey may be sent down to make room for Lidge on the roster.

Thursday marks the opening of minor league baseball across the country. Phillies minor league affiliates in Lakewood, NJ, Clearwater, FL, Reading, PA, and the Lehigh Valley will all take the field with the hope of improving their chances of making it to Philadelphia.