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Lidge Sits with Bicep Soreness

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, March 14, 2011 08:44 AM | Comments: 17
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

According to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brad Lidge did not make the trip to Kissimmee this morning due to soreness in his right bicep. GM Ruben Amaro says they will sit him for a few days to give it a rest. Lidge is scheduled to try it again on Thursday in a B-Game.

Obviously, this is not encouraging news, although the Phillies certainly have plenty of bullpen options should Lidge be missing long-term. Ryan Madson can competently fill the closers role should the problem linger; although that has not been addressed or discussed at this time.

Still, it’s disheartening to see another key cog battle injury. Chase Utley is coping with the fact that he won’t be ready for Opening Day, and now Lidge is dealing with more uncertainty – something he is unfortunately used to by now.

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Pat Gallen has written 1676 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    I KNEW something was up!! Recently, I’ve read a couple articles saying that his fastball was topping at 88 or 89 and that Lidge himself described it as “garbage.” It’s annoying… especially since he said at the beginning of camp that he was just getting in perfect form during last year’s playoffs –to the point where he kept throwing after we lost to the Giants. So he went from perfect shape to bicep soreness.. Frustrating.

    This is worrisome, though I’m confident with Mad-dog as our interim (and future) closer. On the bright side, if Lidge starts on the DL for whatever reason, this might open up a spot for Stutes or some other bullpen guy.

    Somewhat related: I read that Mathieson is out of options so he’d have to clear waivers before we move him back to the minors (assuming he starts with the big club). Is he still a candidate to start the season with the Phils?

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Yeah, his velocity is down, it’s something everyone has talked about. Bicep soreness, however, can be a relatively normal thing, especially if he kept throwing all winter. Maybe his arm needs a breather and it’s nothing serious…but…Everything with Lidge has to be taken seriously.

      As for Mathieson, I too heard he was out of options, but haven’t been able to confirm that yet. I think he is, though. If so, they might have to keep him or Id think they’d lose him through waivers. Maybe that enhances his shot at sticking with the big club over Stutes because of the lack of options. Time will tell.

       
  • Posts: 147 Don M

    Avatar of Don M

    So what is the real story with Utley . . . if/when he needs surgery. Would it be set in stone that he would miss the entire season? If not, why don’t they just do it now and then hope to get him back sooner in the season …

    If he really is going to miss entire season – do we expect the Phillies to take on the 2011 season with Valdez, Del Young, etc… as their everyday 2b ….or do we think they make a move??

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      From what I’ve read, he could recover from this type of knee surgery in a month –it’s only a quick procedure and wouldn’t keep him off the field for too long. The thing is.. this could be solved with just rest and the exercises they’re currently doing with him right now, and there would be no surgery needed in the first place. Apparently, surgery is very rarely recommended for this type of condition . But if Chase doesn’t improve by the beginning of April, then they’ll just probably go ahead with surgery.

      I think they’re doing the right thing. Wait and see how it progresses. If all fails, THEN you go ahead with surgery, and hope he recovers by Mid-May/early-June. I really don’t see how this could keep him off the field of the entire season…

       
  • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    I understand that his velocity is down, but come on now. He is sitting for a few days, and not making one of the trips. Lets relax, and not flip out like he going to go to the DL because of a sore bicep. Just like Pat said, “can be a relatively normal thing”. As for Mad-Dog. Sorry, maybe I am one of the few, but he is not good in the closers role. In the last 2 years as filling in for the Closers role, I am quite certain that his ERA as a closer is significantly higher than in the set up role. Not to mention, he save ratio is pretty low. His save success rate I believe is probably closer to 60-70%. He is a GREAT set-up man, but he often blows saves when called upon. Granted I did not have time for research for this one, but this is based off of memory.

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      Well, the way I look at it: you should have your best bullpen guy be your closer. Right now, Madson is clearly the best guy we got in our pen. Lidge is a good option, too… but if he’s off/hurt/banged up/tired or whatever, there’s really no reason to hesitate using Madson. Better “closer” stuff at this point in time.

       
    • Posts: 5064 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I agree about Madson, but haven’t a clue why he can set up beautifully, but can’t close. It doesn’t make sense at all, it has to be in his head. Maybe it’s what Yogi Berra said “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical”.

       
  • Posts: 222 tavian

    Avatar of tavian

    Lidge puts me into an emotional roller coaster. He either stinks or he is lights out. He is hurting more than any player I can think of. Let’s see how Madson handles the closer’s role for a week and give Lidge a rest. I will always appreciate his magnificent ’08 campaign, but his ups and downs are wearing thin on me. His new nickname should be “Medicine Chest” Lidge. I hope we are NOT going to sign him beyond this year. With that money we can get a much younger closer, or two.

     
    • Posts: 2977 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      I would be SHOCKED if Brad Lidge is with the Phillies next year. That said…..people need to relax about the guy. A great 2008, a sub-par 2009 and a decent year last year (especially down the stretch) is hardly a lousy resume. Let’s see how everything unfolds before we really start to pass undue judgement.

       
      • Posts: 1190 Manny

        Avatar of Manny

        I’m worried because I think he’s a necessary piece in our current bullpen. I’m encouraged by his post-All Star 2010 numbers = 2.10 ERA, 21/23 saves, opp hit .162 against him. And when he’s on, he’s clearly one of the best relievers in baseball. But we’re gonna need solid arms like his and Madson’s for the last two innings. Bullpen is pretty thin as it is –so you have to worry about Lidge’s health anytime anything comes up.

        That being said, I’d also be shocked if the Phils pick up his option for 2012 –barring a spectacular injury-free 2011 season. Too expensive and too many injury question marks, as well as gradual loss in FB speed. We should be ready to have a new closer in 2012 –Madson being the frontrunner, Mathieson the underdog… the Free Agent class will also have a bunch of premier closers available…we’ll see.

         
  • Posts: 220 The Dipsy

    Avatar of The Dipsy

    Ah yes. With all the Brown/Utley talk nobody has talked about what I believe (but am hoping against) what will be another big problem and that is the fact that Lidge is shot. He has no fastball left. I will donate a case of TastyKakes for everytime Brad can break 93 on the radar gun this year. With no fastball this leaves him with two pitches: The baby slider to get over for a strike and the good slider. Last year he threw the former with good success. To my astonishment, no team picked up on his pitch sequence which was so obvious to me. Baby slider to get ahead, fastball out of the strike zone, and then the dropper. He pitches backwards now. If hitters starting sitting on that liitle slider they are going to kill it. And without a fastball to go to, that will be it for Brad. Don’t wanna be a doomsayer but its gonna happen.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 2069 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Chuck, a sub-par 2009??? OMG – you just let me know how much worse it could have been. 0-8, ERA over 7 – sub par?

    The Phils have to find someone else to handle the close. Although I would argue that Madson has some of the best stuff out there, if his mentality is such that closing makes him jittery, forget it… find someone else.

     
  • Posts: 147 Don M

    Avatar of Don M

    Two Things:

    1. …Ryan Madson looked like a completely different pitcher last year after he came back from his chair-kicking-injury …. He gained some perspective and some mental toughness. I’ve said before that I can’t imagine the 8th inning of a World Series game could be any less stressful than the 9th inning of a regular season game. To me, Madson is the easy, and obvious choice to become out future closer

    2. …I talked with Mike Arbuckle (who Amaro beat out for the GM job) back in 2007 and he said at that time that they felt Scott Mathieson had big time CLOSER potential … which we’re seeing now. Arbuckle is now with the Royals, the team with the #1 ranked Farm System in all of baseball – so I take things i’ve heard from him as truths, he knows what he’s talking about

    If Mathieson pitches well in the bigs this year, we’ll have an interesting scenario … because obviously Lidge is gone after this season (a $12.5 M option is not getting picked up).. and the Madson deal would depend on what you can sign him for. I’m guessing he’d seek at least $6 M per season for 3-4 years, but i think he’s also stated that he wants to finish his career here – so the ability for the “hometown discount” might apply with him

    This will be the most interesting thing to watch next offseason

     
  • Posts: 2977 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    A lot of people gave Madson grief for that incident but I actually thought that it turned out to be a GOOD thing. Obviously, you don’t want your players running around injuring themselves, but, in this case, it actually seemed to do him some good. I think Madson could definitely handle the closer’s role.

     
  • Posts: 193 bfo_33

    Avatar of

    Madson is definitely a victim of bad luck/small sample size as a closer. I think he’ll get his shot to prove differently this year, and I expect him to do well. If he demonstrates he can close, $6M/yr for 3 or 4 years is way underpriced, and the Phils will lose him. 70+ innings with an era @ 3.00 with 20 or so save ops will get him a min 3yr, $8M/yr with an option. As a Phils fan, I hope he has that kind of year, but also hope that Mathieson gets a few cracks at closing. Arbuckle definitely has an eye for talent, hope he’s right, and maybe Lidge and Madson walk after this year.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    “AT LEAST” $6 M per year . . . . I don’t know how many teams are going to want to throw $8-10 M at an unproven closer in Madson?? So as long as the Phillies offer isn’t insulting, they’d have a chance.. He’s making $4 M now, so he’d be due for a raise, but not a 100% raise to $8 M per season

    A homegrown player who has publicly stated he wants to remain with the Phillies, has seen the success, helped us have it, and could make $18-20 M here instead of $24- 30 M somehwere else .. I think we’d have a good chance, but lets wait and see

     
    • Posts: 193 bfo_33

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      Closers are overrated, unless you don’t have one. $8M/yr assumes Madson gets the opportunity this year, and does something with it. The Yanks (granted, it’s the Yanks) just paid $7M a yr/3 yrs for a set-up guy.

      I believe Madson might give a bit of a home town discount, but a few mil a year adds up pretty quick when you are in the $15 – 20M range. Worst case, Papelbon continues to slide (his contract is up) and the Sox get involved. Fortunately, the Yanks appear set. Much bigger fish to fry right now than the closer for 2012, but I’m hoping some of the kids get an opportunity in high leverage situations.

       
 
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