DENVER -- The Phillies take a step toward full strength on Monday when John Lannan is expected to be activated and return to the starting rotation. Lannan will face his old team, the Nationals, with whom he went 42-53 with a 4.05 ERA over parts of six seasons.
Lannan went on the disabled list April 18 with a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee. Lannan was 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA after three starts before the injury. Lannan made two rehab starts, throwing four innings and allowing one earned run for Class A Advanced Clearwater and seven innings of two-run ball with Double-A Redding. He's posted a 2.45 ERA over his two rehab starts, striking out six and walking two in 11 innings.
"They say he's been doing good," manager Charlie Manuel said of Lannan's work in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. "He's responding real well. He's throwing the ball good."
Lannan and Roy Halladay (right shoulder surgery) have both been missing from the starting rotation, along with Opening Day starters Chase Utley (oblique strain) and Eric Katz (left knee), as well as Carlos Ruiz (right hamstring strain), who played 16 games behind the dish after Katz's injury.
"We need to get all our guys back," Manuel said. "We need to get them healthy. Just like the Rockies. I see [Dexter] Fowler's in there today. I'm sure they're looking forward to getting [Troy] Tulowitzki back, too. It hurts you. People don't realize it. Take one man out of your lineup and it hurts. Two or three crushes you, it really crushes you."
Ruiz begins rehab assignment at Triple-A
DENVER -- Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz started for Triple-A Lehigh Valley both Saturday and Sunday as he began a rehab assignment as he recovers from a right hamstring strain.
"He got two at bats, he played five innings," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He did okay. It sounded like he got through it real well. He's playing again today. He'll be there about four or five days."
Ruiz went 1-for-3 and caught seven innings with Lehigh Valley on Sunday, and he is expected to be in Philadelphia on Monday before completing his rehab in Double-A Redding while Lehigh Valley takes to the road.
Chase Utley started taking regular batting practice with the Phillies on Friday and will likely head out on a rehab assignment when the Phillies return home on Monday.
"Utley's going down either to Redding or Lehigh Valley for a couple days, and he'll call and let me know how he is," Manuel said. "He's going Tuesday, and hopefully we'll have him back by the end of the week."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.