NEW YORK -- It is painfully clear the Phillies need Roy Halladay back in the rotation as soon as possible.
He is getting closer.
He threw his second bullpen session before Tuesday's game against the Mets at Citi Field. Halladay threw 56 pitches after throwing 33 on Friday in Miami. Halladay could throw a few more bullpen sessions and pitch a few simulated games -- skipping a rehab assignment altogether -- before rejoining the rotation shortly after the All-Star break.
It would not be a surprise to see Halladay back as early as the July 16-18 series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, although the Phillies are keeping Halladay's next steps to themselves. But Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said based on the way Halladay has thrown the ball, he believes the strained right latissimus dorsi that landed him on the disabled list in May played a major role in his struggles this season.
So fans should see the old Halladay when he is back?
"I don't know where he'll be when he gets back," Dubee said. "I hope he's close to what he used to be, yeah. But the signs are leading that he's doing very well."
Victorino not thinking about trade possibilities
NEW YORK -- There is plenty of Cole Hamels trade talk, but if the Phillies decide to sell before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Shane Victorino could be one of the first to go.
He said he isn't thinking about it.
In fact, he said he doesn't think his days are numbered.
"No," he said before Tuesday's series opener against the Mets at Citi Field. "I don't look at it that way, and I don't want to look at it that way. I'm not focused on that. I still think we can make a change, meaning we go out there, play the game and win. That handles itself. I don't think [Phillies general manager] Ruben [Amaro Jr.] is giving up, but on the other hand, how can I sit here and not think something may happen because of what's going on here? I can't sit here and say, 'No way.' But I'm optimistic.
"We need to do it, not keep talking about how we can do it. We need to go out there and do it, and prove to them that we can do it."
Victorino could be traded because he is a free agent after the season and the sides are not close at all to an agreement. He is looking for a five-year contract, but the Phillies are unlikely to go that long.
"If you're not winning, things like that happen," Victorino said of trades. "I can't say where am I going to be tomorrow, next week or next month. I want to be in red. I want to be in a Phillies uniform. I want to be in Philly. That's where I want to be, so let's go out there and turn this thing around."
Victorino and everybody else in the Phillies' clubhouse knows the next three weeks are critical.
"I think that, pretty much so," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We have to start winning. We better win some of those games."
Pridie excited for new opportunity with Phillies
Jason Pridie's wife and family always wanted him to be a member of the Phillies.
That became a reality on Sunday afternoon when he donned No. 16 for the series finale against the Marlins.
With the departure of Jim Thome following a trade that sent him to Baltimore for two Minor League prospects, Philadelphia announced that it selected Pridie's contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Pridie, who plays all three outfield positions, saw action in 101 games last season for the Mets, hitting .231 with four homers and 20 RBIs. But he cleared waivers after being released.
"[This is a] division I saw a bit of, teams I know in the National League," Pridie said. "Double switching, that's the type of player I am as a defensive replacement, a baserunning guy, or if I need to be a pinch-hitter. I always thought being with the Mets last year moving to the NL was a good spot for me."
Two teams looked at him following his release -- the Phillies and A's. He signed a Minor League contract with Oakland over the offseason with an invitation to Spring Training because he saw an opportunity to start there.
But Pridie was suspended 50 games for a second drug violation under baseball's Minor League testing program. Granted free agency on June 4, he signed a contract on June 15 with the Phillies before being assigned to Lehigh Valley, where he hit .370 with one homer and six RBIs in 12 games.
"And like I said with what happened, it was a blessing in disguise, because it got me to not just appreciate the game more, but to understand how things can be taken away," Pridie said. "Injuries are one thing, but to have it on your own accord that you could've prevented it really hits home, and I had my kid on the way and my wife and the whole aspect. I wish it never happened and I could go back and change that, but everything happens for a reason. Hopefully, just stay positive. I never got down, and here I am. It's been a whirlwind. I think it'll make me a better person as a whole."
During his suspension, he worked out at the A's complex, taking swings and spending time with his wife, who played softball and was pregnant at the time. It helped him get mentally ready for the season.
The 28-year-old saw limited action -- 11 games and just four at-bats -- in two seasons from 2008-09 with the Twins before spending an entire year in 2010 out of the Majors. He was drafted in the second round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft by Tampa Bay.
"One way or another I got here [to the Phillies]," Pridie said. "Obviously, it wasn't the route I wanted to take to get here, but I'm here now and I'm just excited and can't wait."
The Phillies came to terms with two top prospects at the beginning of the international signing period. They signed Dominican outfielder Jorge Pujols ($600,000) and Dominican catcher Deivi Grullon ($575,000). MLB.com ranked them 16th and 17th, respectively, among the top international prospects.
Manuel said he did not know if he would play Chase Utley during Wednesday afternoon's game against the Mets. The Phillies said Utley would go two on, one off, but they are not sure how they will handle a day game following a night game.
The Phillies shuffled their rotation, pushing back Kyle Kendrick a couple days to pitch against the Braves this weekend at Citizens Bank Park. Kendrick is 6-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 15 appearances (10 starts) against the Braves, while he is 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA in 11 starts against the Mets.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.