If Lidge Is Out, Who's In?



Thumbnail image for lidge knee.jpgCharlie Manuel
said yesterday he is prepared and willing to do whatever it takes to win games. Reading between the lines he meant Brad Lidge no longer is the team’s only option to close.

Ruben Amaro Jr. echoed those sentiments today.

Their words proved true a couple hours later when Lidge trotted to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Brewers beating the Phillies, 7-2.

“Our best club is to have Lidge pitch the ninth,” Amaro said. “Right now, he hasn’t been doing it effectively, and we’ll have to make an adjustment off that. … No decision has been made officially. Charlie is going to bring people in to pitch in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning that he feels will be most effective. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Lidge isn’t one of those guys. He still could be one of those guys. It could be (Ryan) Madson. It could be Lidge. It could be a host of guys. Obviously it will be different if we get some of the other guys back.”

Amaro said if J.C. Romero throws well tomorrow in Clearwater that he could be activated early next week. He said Chan Ho Park is throwing off the mound tomorrow. Park is “progressing pretty well.” Brett Myers could be back late next week.

“Hopefully we’ll have some choices for Charlie,” Amaro said.

Pedro Martinez does not appear to be one of those choices.

“Right now I don’t see that happening,” Amaro said. “Could it change? Maybe. Right now I think we view him as a starter for us. He’s been effective in that role.”

But while Martinez likely is not an option — Martinez takes a while to get loose, which would not be ideal for a late-inning reliever who needs to warm up quickly – J.A. Happ could be.

“I think he’s durable and right now he’s healthy,” Amaro said. “He’s got a durable arm. We had him in the bullpen last year so it won’t be anything new to him. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he is a guy we use in the bullpen. That would be up to Charlie and (pitching coach Rich) Dubee if they think he can do it. He hasn’t done anything to say he can’t. You don’t know until he gets in that situation.

“As I said before, it may take some guys to step up and pitch in different roles they’re not typically accustomed to. And Brad may be asked to do something different than he’s been doing for us. Again, at the end of the day it’s about how we can get the last six or nine outs. … We’d rather have the seventh, eighth and ninth locked up like we have in the past, but this isn’t a perfect world unfortunately.”

Asked about his confidence in Lidge, Amaro said, “I’m confident that he’s had the experience of doing it. He has not performed the way I think he knows he can perform and the way we know he can perform. He’ll show us how confident we are in him.”

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1 Comment

Happ has been more consistent as a starter than Lee as he was bombed again tonight, let’s give Lee a shot at closer.

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