The infamous "Lidge Face", now sans mole
Let’s start with the real news, Brad Lidge has elbow
stiffness and is returning to Philadelphia to be examined. Now
I’m not typically a knee-jerk reaction type of guy (maybe Brad is, and that’s why
its always injured….), but I think it’s officially time to look for other
options at closer.
First of all, if you are reading this, you know two things about Brad
1: He was one of the main reasons the Phillies won the World Series in
2. He stunk last year, and promptly blew game 4 of the World Series
after Pedro Feliz hit a game-tying HR off of Joba Chamberlin in the 8th inning.
Now it’s still early, but in 2008 Lidge gave
up 15 ERs, 50 hits, and 35 walks in 69 innings. Last year, he gave up 47 ERs, 72
hits, and 34 walks in 58 innings.
This year in his first save opportunity? He
served up two meatballs that were kept in the park by the wind, and lucked into his first save. Not to mention the fact that he couldn't get more than an out in his first appearance against the Mets.
What I’m trying
to say is that it seems more likely that 2008 was the "fluke", as opposed to the last year and half.
Personally I think Jose Contreras has closer stuff and could be solid in that role. He has a mid 90’s fastball, a "swing and a miss" splitter that may be the best
in the league, and even a good
Madson obviously can’t close no
matter how many toes he has, I don’t think Durbin has closer stuff, and Baez
has only 12 saves since 2006.
I’ll always trust Charlie’s decisions, but he
chose to stick with Brad all of last season despite how badly he pitched
and I had no issue with it, but this season Lidge missed spring training, hasn’t exactly
been dazzling, and now he is hurt…. again.
Yes… it’s early, but to me, I have to think that the fat lady is humming, and Brad
should be on a very short leash.