Monday, May 17, 2010

Phillies roster shuffle: Rollins, Bastardo in; Lidge, Valdez out

With most of my attention focused on the Flyers playoff run, I haven't had much energy to talk about the Phillies on the site lately. Needless to say, despite whatever imperfections the Phils have in the bullpen, the team has been on a roll lately, playing like the two time National League Champs that they are.

The only real news to come from the Phillies in the last few days has been a series of roster moves as more players have succumbed to injury and others have made their way back. First, the bad news: Brad Lidge was placed back on the disabled list as he continues to deal with elbow issues. Things just haven't been right for Lidge this season and I would expect him to not be rushed back this time. In his absence, with Ryan Madson also still out for several weeks, Jose Contreras is taking over at closer. While Contreras has been a stud out of the bullpen, should the Phillies be without Lidge for a long period of time, I would expect them to start seeking out a trade for a new closing option.

With Lidge being removed from the roster, Antonio Bastardo was called up once again. He will give the team a second lefty out of the pen but should be ready to get shifted back down to the minors at any time.

Also returning to the Phillies on Monday was Jimmy Rollins, who was activated from the disabled list and inserted right into the lineup. While his replacements at shortstop haven't been terrible, J-Roll's return brings the Phillies one step closer to their ideal lineup, a scary thought for a team that has been producing plenty of runs recently. To make room for Rollins, the Phillies designated Wilson Valdez for assignment, meaning they have 10 days to trade, release or place him on waivers. With how well Valdez had been playing in the field, it's a shame they may lose him, but he is the third string shortstop and he was pretty terrible with the bat.

Two more pieces of good Phillies news: Carlos Ruiz is back after taking a few days off and J.A. Happ is starting to throw, signaling he is making progress towards a return to the team. It should be frightening to the rest of the league that, with all of these players coming back into the fold, this Phillies team, already 10 games over .500, is only going to get better. Be afraid, National League, be very afraid.

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