TAMPA, Fla. (AP - Phillies closer Brad Lidge will start the regular season on the 15-day disabled list as he continues a rehab program following arthroscopic knee surgery last month.
Lidge has resumed pitching in minor league games, but the Phillies decided the right-hander couldn't get enough innings in before spring training ends.
Tom Gordon will fill in at closer for Lidge, who could return in early April. Lidge is eligible to come off the DL on April 5.
Lidge was the key offseason acquisition for the Phillies, who strengthened their bullpen and starting rotation in one move. Getting the former All-Star closer from the Houston Astros allowed the team to move Brett Myers back into the rotation.
In other news, there is no timetable for when Kris Benson, who is coming back from rotator cuff surgery, will throw off a mound. The right-hander has been playing catch.
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