CINCINNATI -- Whether they like it or not, players like Tim Lahey adjust to living out of a suitcase and not knowing where they might be the next day. Lahey began that journey again Saturday, as he headed out of Great American Ball Park into an uncertain week. The fallback from Brad Lidge's activation from the disabled list -- or really, from Rudy Seanez's Tuesday arrival -- may not know his next stop until as late as Thursday, as he must wait out the waiver process. The reliever was designated for assignment on Saturday. By then, he could be in Rochester, N.Y. (the Twins' Triple-A affiliate), Allentown, Pa. (with Triple-A Lehigh Valley), or one of 30 Minor League cities from Albuquerque, N.M., to Tucson, Ariz. If he's claimed by the right team, he could still wind up in the big leagues.
"That's part of it," Lahey said. "The longer you're in the game, the more you get used to [uncertainty and constant travel]. Whether you're in the Minor Leagues or the big leagues. One of the only differences I can see, is you're on planes instead of buses. Either way, you're checking in and out of hotels." A converted catcher, Lahey was claimed off waivers from the Cubs, who had acquired him from Tampa Bay. The Rays had selected Lahey from Minnesota in the Rule 5 Draft. Though he didn't appear in a game for the Phillies, the right-hander received a week's worth of big league pay, and soaked in the atmosphere. "I enjoyed being here," he said. "I got to meet a great group of guys. For a guy in my situation, who's bounced around a little bit this spring, they were great." Lahey is realistic about his chances of remaining in the big leagues. He understands that most teams have their lineups set in the first week of the season, though he hopes to land on a Major League roster. In the meantime, he'll fly to Philadelphia, then drive to his home in Worcester, Ma., and await his next destination. The waiver process will last through 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday. He'll keep his suitcase packed until then.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.