Many people have trashed the return of Brad Lidge lately saying "we don't need that bum, he stinks". Well I am here to tell you differently, we need Brad Lidge. Yes the Phillies bullpen has held their own this year with great performances by Madson (who just came off the DL), Stutes, Bastardo, and even Kendrick.
However, for those four solid pitchers this season, there have been a rotating cast of characters in and out of the Phillies bullpen, including Danys Baez, Drew Carpenter, and David Herndon. All three of these players are currently in the Phillies bullpen and not performing so well.
After Danys Baez's fantastic five shut out innings, he has pitched terribly. He is currently 2-4 on the season with a 6.25 ERA.
Drew Carpenter is 0-0 on the season, but has a 6.23 ERA in the Majors for the Phillies so far this year.
Now comes everyone's favorite, David Herndon. Herndon is 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA.
(take note, Phillies game on Monday 7/18 was NOT counted in the ERA's of Carpenter, Herndon, and Baez).
All three of these pitchers have been unreliable throughout the entire season.
Now people can still try to argue with me that bringing back Lidge is a bad idea, but it is not. Bringing back Lidge brings depth back to the Phillies bullpen. Lidge had his one bad rehab assignment last week, where he was truly wild as ever, but has been perfect before and after that outing.
Now I am not saying to put Brad Lidge into the closers role, because even Lidge admits that it is Madson's job now. The Phillies needs a veteran reliever (and really another in a trade) to bring more depth to the Phillies bullpen. Lidge would need to be used in the 7th or 8th inning as more of a setup man than a closer.
So go ahead and continue your rants on how bad Lidge is (he actually did great for the Phillies in 2010 and was PERFECT in 2008). Go ahead and tell me that 2009 was a terrible year for Lidge, because it was for Cole Hamels too and no one is currently yelling about him.
Now bringing back Brad Lidge does not mean that the Phillies shouldn't also look at bringing in an arm for the bullpen (which they are looking at). But bringing back Brad Lidge gets rid of players like Drew Carpenter, David Herndon, or Danys Baez.
The Phillies and the fans want to win in 2011, Brad Lidge may be the best option available for the Phillies
P Brad Lidge and C Brian Schneider continue their rehab process in Clearwater. Brad Lidge is scheduled to pitch in an extended Spring Training game on Tuesday .
Schneider is "progressing as tolerated".
Neither player has a set date for them playing in rehab games.
The Phillies could have their everyday lineup together for the first time Friday if center fielder Shane Victorino continues to progress. He went 0-for-4 Sunday in a rehab game with Class A Lakewood.
Victorino, who is on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, will not play Monday, but is scheduled to play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with Double-A Reading.
The Phillies will evaluate him following Thursday's game. If he feels fine, he could be activated before Friday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Who goes down?
As mentioned, Victorino could come off the DL on Friday to play the Pirates. The big question has been who goes down to the minors when Victorino returns.
According to reports, RF Ben Francisco still has one option left and could be sent to Triple A. Other options could be Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. Do not expect Michael Martinez to go anywhere, being that he is a Rule 5 pick.
Another option could be putting the injured Ross Gload on the DL. Gload has not had much play off the bench and has been playing with an injured hip. He is hitting .306 on the season with 4 RBI. He said he does not think a trip to the disabled list would be beneficial, because the tear cannot heal in a few weeks. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel certainly hopes Gload can remain a late-inning weapon for him.
It is still unsure of how badly closer Brad Lidge is injured; however, today on MLB Network Radio on Satellite Charlie Manuel said, "I’m probably looking at maybe All-Star break, or… just before that".
This coming after Ruben Amaro Jr. said the injury would hold Lidge out for 3-6 weeks with a rotator cuff strain.
Ryan Howard is engaged
According to Randy Miller, Ryan Howard is now engaged to his girlfriend of three years, Eagles Cheerleader (and school teacher) Krystal Campbell.
We would like to congratulate the couple on their engagement.
It's no wonder why Howard is off to a hot start of the season, she must have said yes.
Heading into this season this Phillies team was the second oldest team in Franchise history. Age leads to injury. We all knew Chase Utley has had his problems so far during Spring Training. Now add Closer Brad Lidge with his bicep issue and third baseman Placido Polanco who hyper-extended his elbow yesterday. Injury after injury have affected this team already and we haven't started the season yet ... but it's a long way to go.
These injuries right now are minor injuries that these players can come back from (Utley's injury is TBD).
No need to push the panic button just yet, but Matt Gelb of the Inquirer tends to think along the same side as me. You could pick any position in the infield and match an injury to it. Gelb points out: "First base: ankle. Second base: knee. Shortstop: calf. Third base: elbow."
Manuel has downplayed the injuries by saying, "I don't worry about that. Seriously. They're not trying to get hurt. If I'm worried about everybody getting hurt . . . I don't have time for that."
At this point we are 16 days away from Opening Day. Our offense is still a little depleted, but we still have a top rotation in baseball. Yes there will be injuries along the way, but there were injuries last season for the Phillies, who still had the best record in baseball.
Closer Brad Lidge was scheduled to make the trip to Kissimmee for the Phillies exhibition game against the Houston Astros Monday, but when the bus departed at 8 a.m. he was not on it. The reason: Soreness in his biceps tendon.
"We just wanted to back him off for a couple days," general manager Ruben Amaro said.
Lidge last pitched Friday against the Baltimore Orioles and has 9.00 ERA in five Grapefruit League games this spring. He is scheduled to pitch again Thursday in a B game.
Lidge later told reporters that he has biceps tendinitis.
The Postseason is quickly approaching and the Phillies lead the Wild Card race by 1.5 games and trail the division by 2.0 games with six more games against the Braves to play. I am here to tell you, do not push the panic button on Brad Lidge.
Yes Lidge isn’t perfect like he was in 2008, but the movement on his pitches seem to be back and he has one thing that he didn’t have in 2009, confidence.
Brad Lidge has pitched well in a newly rejuvenated Phillies bullpen lately (which is easy when the starting pitching has pitched fantastic this season).
This season Brad Lidge is 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA and 18 saves in 23 save opportunities (5 Blown Saves). Lidge blew 11 saves in 2009 and the Phillies were still in the World Series (with lackluster Starting Pitchers). Lidge has 8 saves in his last 9 opportunities with his one blown save coming with two outs in the 9th on a balk where the ball was slipping out of his hands.
Do not trust his save percentage? Trust his ERA. On August 1st, Lidge’s ERA was at 5.32, now that ERA has dropped to 3.90. Lidge only got better in the month of August and looks to become increasingly better in September into October.
I know that when Lidge takes the mound fans feel like they are going to have a heart attack …. And after the 2009 season we all have the right to have a heart attack, but lately Lidge is pitching better and getting movement back on his pitches.
I am telling you right now to support Lidge throughout the remainder of the season, have your Aspirin next to you and ready, and get ready for another World Series run for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Sports Radio 610 Host, Howard Eskin should not be allowed in Manuel's Press Conferences anymore. In 2007, Eskin provoked Manuel in a heated argument that lead to one of the great "I've been growed up" moments in Phillies history. Now Eskin is back at it.
I will give you the background information first. Last night in the ninth inning, Manuel brought in left handed reliever JC Romero in a 2-1 game against the Indians weaker hitters. That lead to Eskin provoking Charlie again.
Charlie sticks with his guns this time saying, "Lidge is our closer, so Howard let's leave it ok. Lidge is our closer, in my mind he is our closer and that's what matters".
In 2007, Eskin got a lot of press on the heated argument with Charlie Manuel. It looks as if he may have been trying to do it again to rise his deflating ratings.
Brad Lidge left Colorado on Wednesday and headed to Philadelphia to meet the doctor and get an MRI on his elbow.
Lidge had some elbow inflammation and will be day-to-day for the Phillies, the problem now is who will be their closer until he returns.
Here are the Phillies options:
Jose Contrares: Jose is a 38 (that is very questionable) and was originally a starter. Now he has the movement to close out game, however, he will be inconsistant.
Chad Durbin: Durbin has been the most consistent pitcher in the Phillies Bullpen this season, however, he gave up a leadoff home run to the Rockies in the 10th inning.
JC Romero: This is a move that I do not like, Romero has been inconsistent since 2008 and is a hot head if anything goes wrong, plus we don't want another Madson Moment.
Scott Mathieson: Mathieson is the closer in the minors for the Phillies, he has some heat on his fast ball, the problem is that he may not be ready. Is it worth giving him a shot though? In 2007 Mathieson was called up to start for the Phillies when their starters were struck with the injury bug. Mathieson actually pitched well before heading back to the minors. Mathieson may be the best option for the Phillies to call up .... he has the best stuff and is being molded as the Phillies future closer
Phillies Win, As Hamels Struggles in the 4th and 5th By Kevin K
The Phillies took the series today against the Braves as Cole Hamels struggled in the 4th and 5th innings.
Cole was averaging 11 pitches per inning until he came out in the 4th. He struggled a bit there, but got out of it giving up no runs. On came the 5th where Hamels continued to walk player after player as he gave up 3 runs to cut the Phillies lead 4-3.
From there on the bullpen took over, Durbin went 2 innings, Contrares 1, and in came Lidge to close. The bullpen gave up 0 runs as the Phillies bullpen continues to be hot. In the last 4 games the Phillie bullpen has allowed just 3 hits and posted an ERA of 0.69 during that span
Cole is lucky that the bullpen, offense, and defense picked him up in this game today.
The Phillies were able to take the series today with a 5-3 win. Brad Lidge came out in the 9th inning and closed it out for his first save of the season.
With the return of Brad Lidge to the Phillies bullpen tonight it is now Ryan Madson's turn to hit the DL. Madson was placed on the 15 day DL today for a broken right toe.
Now could you believe what the Phillies would have to do at closer if Madson and Lidge were both on the DL at the same time? They would be going closer by committee, which seems to never work. Maybe they could have brought back the all time saves leader, Jose Mesa? Wow it was definitely perfect timing for a return for Brad Lidge or else this bullpen would go from bad to worse.
Right now the bullpen has cost the Phillies some games, and, as I said in the preseason, is the key to the Phillies winning another World Series.
Left Handed Reliever Antonio Bastardo, who was optioned to Triple-A as soon as Lidge was activated, is now back on the Phillies roster and in their bullpen tonight, as Kyle Kendrick gets ready for the division rival Mets tonight.