Phillies may not hand closer duties back to Brad Lidge right away
Brad Lidge tossed a scoreless inning at Single-A yesterday in his third rehab appearance and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said afterward that “he threw extremely well.” “He took a nice step forward,” Amaro said. “His slider was tighter. He had better location. I guess his velocity was 90-91. He felt good. He was much sharper and crisper.” However, when asked about the Phillies’ plans once Lidge is ready to come off the disabled list manager Charlie Manuel told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he may not be handed the closer job right away:
Amaro had a slightly different take, saying: “He’s our closer. He’s been our closer. He never stopped being our closer.” However, the GM also added that the decision is ultimately Manuel’s to make. “He’ll be used in whatever way Charlie and [pitching coach] Rich [Dubee] feel is best for the club. I assume he’ll be our closer, but it’s up to those guys.” It’d be one thing if Lidge was coming back from an injury after his amazing 2008 season, but instead he’s coming back following one of the worst seasons by a closer in baseball history. Even without the injuries involved the Phillies would be right to think twice about returning him to the closer role after 11 blown saves and an absurd 7.21 ERA in 58.2 innings.