Happ's rehab program "quieted down"
The last thing the Phillies need is another injury.
The second-to-last thing they need is a setback to an already-established injury.
Although it might not be entirely accurate to say J.A. Happ suffered a setback Friday, his rehab from a left forearm strain is at least being scaled back and he has no immediate plans to throw another bullpen session.
Happ threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Friday, eight days after landing on the 15-day DL, but it didn't go well enough for the Phils to give him to go-ahead to begin pitching in rehab games, let alone continue throwing off the mound.
"It didn't feel as good as we hoped," said pitching coach Rich Dubee, who admitted it might have had something to do with Happ pushing it "pretty good" in a long-toss session the day before.
When asked to characterize the feeling in his left arm compared to a week ago, Happ said it was "less severe." But since the soreness is still there, Dubee says they are going to "quiet it down for the next few days and go from there."
It's likely Happ wouldn't try to throw again off the mound for at least the next 3-4 days... meaning he wouldn't be cleared to begin throwing in minor league rehab games at the earliest for another week-to-10 days.
Since assistant Gm Scott Proefrcok said Happ's minor league rehab would be similar to Joe Blanton's - three starts - it's difficult to see a scenario where Happ would return to the Phillies any sooner than the third week of May.
Even if you can't stamp this as a setback, it's a blow to a starting rotation that is in dire need of someone other than Roy Halladay to chip in with quality starts. The Phils rank 29th out of 30 teams in quality starts with seven (and Halladay has accounted for more than half of those, with four).
Thankfully for Phils fans, Halladay takes the mound today against the Mets, who throttled the home team Friday night.