Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lidge to possibly miss half of season, Contreras to close

After the revelation that Brad Lidge was going to start the season on the DL, today's news is hardly surprising: Lidge will miss 3-6 weeks due to his shoulder injury. Given that time frame, Lidge made it clear to reporters that he is shooting for a return after the All-Star break. While that is a long time for the Phillies to be without their closer, at least Lidge won't need surgery on the shoulder, which would potentially keep him out for the entire season.

With Lidge out, Charlie Manuel is reportedly going to go with Jose Contreras as the closer and keep Ryan Madson in the 8th inning. While I don't subscribe to the theory that Madson doesn't have the mental makeup to be a closer, I'm fine with the Phillies keeping Madson in his most successful role. While Contreras doesn't have much closing experience (4 career saves all in 2010), if he can pitch like he did last year, he should do just fine in the 9th inning.

Given the relative depth of the Phillies bullpen, losing Brad Lidge isn't that huge of a blow to the Phillies. Both Contreras and Madson should do just fine in the final two innings so the Phillies will just need either J.C. Romero or Danys Baez to step into the 7th inning role. Then again, the Four Aces will probably just pitch a complete game every time.

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