Saturday, February 23, 2008

Phils Closer Lidge Hurt During Practice

Brad Lidge was brought in this offseason to solidify the back end of the Phillies bullpen and allow Brett Myers to move back into the starting rotation. He can only do that if he can stay healthy. Lidge, already recovering from offseason surgery on his knee, injured himself during batting practice today. He threw a pitch and limped off the field. The Phillies have given no indication as to the severity of the injury.

One question invariably arises next: Who would be the Phillies closer if Lidge can't go? I say it depends on how long he is on the shelf. If he would only miss a few games, then Tom Gordon could easily slide into the role. However, if Lidge proves to be out for months, then the Phillies may have to look to Brett Myers again. Myers is preparing to be a starter this season, so only an extreme emergency should send him back to the pen. Lidge being out for a long period of time would count as that emergency, because Flash Gordon has proven he can't stay healthy for long enough to lock down games, either. Of course, if Myers returns to the closer role, the Phillies would likely need to sign another starting pitcher. I hear Kyle Lohse is still available!

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