Turning Things Around?

lidge 0808 2010.jpgBrad Lidge‘s last five appearances have been big for him.

He has allowed just two hits, no walks and has struck out four in 4 1/3 innings. Most important, he is 4-for-4 in save opportunities.

In 13 appearances from June 19 to July 31, Lidge went 1-1 with an 8.49 ERA and six saves in 10 opportunities. He allowed 13 hits and 11 walks and struck out 14 in 11 2/3 innings in that stretch. That did not inspire much confidence in Phillies fans, who watched Lidge suffer terribly last season.

“I feel great,” Lidge said after picking up the save today against the Mets. “I feel like I have my best control. Really, since the All-Star break I’ve felt pretty good. I had an off game in Washington (on July 31, when he allowed three runs in 1/3 inning). But I’ve been able to put the ball on both sides of the plate. I think that’s the key.”

Lidge also said consistent work is key, and he has gotten that recently.

But we’ll have to see more from Lidge to know if this is an upward trend or just a flash. (He had similar flashes last season, but eventually reverted to his struggles.) Lidge isn’t throwing as hard as he has in the past, but if he can command his pitches maybe he can enjoy the success of a younger Lidge, who threw in the upper 90s.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

18 Comments

I would feel a lot better about Lidge if he could get the velocity up a bit, but maybe that’s a thing of the past. Location is obviously the most important thing, so at least he has that. His slider still bites pretty good, but he can’t be a one-pitch pitcher. He needs his fastball.
I was kind of disappointed that Charlie pulled Baez on Friday with the big lead. The hits against him were bleeders and he appeared to finally be hitting spots. He’s not going to get any better without work and that was a perfect opportunity for him to close out a game.

Zo, did you just recycle a post from last year? Sounds like the same old stuff about Lidge finally turning it around…. ;)

Braves take 3 of 4 from the red hot Giants while the fillies manage only 2 of 3 from the hapless Muts. 1st Place still feels good.

The same Braves who “only” took 2 of 3 from the hapless Mutts the last 2 series that they faced them. The same Braves who took 1 of 2 against the Mets the previous time they played. And the very same Braves who were swept by the lowly, lowly Mets in April. Right.

The Braves had a stellar May, no question about it. Otherwise, though, they’ve been only slightly above average. The Phillies, with two of their best three position players on the DL, are making up ground, and once Howard and Utley return, they’ll be primed for a stretch run that will knock the Braves out of the playoffs.

Picking at an old scab:

Interesting to note that Brandon Morrow threw a near no-hitter yesterday. Why is that intesting (other than the obvious)? On December 22, 2009 Morrow was traded to Toronto by the Mariners for Brandon League and a minor league outfielder.
A week earlier, the Phillies made the Cliff Lee trade with Seattle, picking up 3 not-ready-for-prime-time prospects in exchange for the former Cy Young Award winner.

Did the Phillies scouting staff drop the ball on this one? Was Morrow made available to the Phillies instead of the prospects they got? Wouldn’t getting a Major League ready arm in exchange for Lee have been a better move than 3 guys who are languishing in A-ball?
Morrow has a 1.37 WHIP, 151 strikeouts and 57 walks in 127 innings.

Discuss.

Mule: I think you answered your own question. By aquiring Lee, Seatle felt it could afford to move Morrow in order to obtain a MLB RP and replenish the OF prospect they lost to us in the Lee trade.

TO have obtained Morrow in the Lee deal we probably would have had to include Bastardo or some other RP. I don’t know if they would have agreed to Lee for Morrow straight up, and we will never know. IT also doesn’t matter at this point. Once again, the issue with the Lee deal isn’t that they got prospects, but that they aprerently got lousy prospects. The ones who are responsible are the scouts who okayed the guys we got

It’s easy in hindsight to say, why not Morrow? But I don’t think Morrow’s name ever came up in trade conversation. The Mariners were perplexed about what to do with him. He was bouncing back and forth between the minors and majors, and between the rotation and the bullpen. The practically gave him away and probably would have been happy to give Morrow instead of Aumont, who has great upside. But the Phillies weren’t looking for a ML ready pitcher in that trade, especially one who had no defined role. They were looking for players who would start to develop around 2012-13, or could be helpful in future trades.

And f-i-j, you have no idea if the prospects they got for Lee ar ‘lousy’. Get back to me in 2-3 years and we can discuss whether that is true. But IMO, all three will eventually play in MLB.

phan52, the Phillies would not have taken an MLB ready pitcher over a class A prospect? How strange it is for you to post “get back to me in 2-3 years” to evaluate a “prospect” when your attitude heretofore has been that all prospects are “detritus”, especially those traded by the Phillies. On another note, good job of ferreting out and slammiBraves low hanging fruit, Billreef.

pherris, the Phillies were not looking for ML ready players in that trade. And I never said ‘all’ prospects are detritus, but most of them are. I’ve always said prospects are what the name inplies. It’s all probability and potential, nothing more. That includes Morrow, BTW.
If you look at Morrow’s history, it is questionable that he was ML ready, and exactly what role he could play. That’s why he was available in the first place. If you think somebody screwed up the Morrow stuation, I would suggest it was Seattle not Philly. I doubt he was ever in the conversation. Frankly Kyle Kendrick’s numbers were better than Morrow’s to that point, and what would you have thought about that last December if he was part of the deal?

Morrow was a non-descript middling player at the time, and Aumont was on Baseball America’s top 100 list. I don’t blame the Phillies for preferring Aumont. Frankly, it was a no-brainer.
BTW, I will bet most people on this blog never even heard of Morrow until yesterday. The guy never pitched a shutout, let alone a complete game, before in his career. Apparently the Jays coaching staff found something to work with; good for them. But Aumont still has better upside, IMO. He’s only 21 and the Phillies probably made a poor decision starting him in AA this year. He also had the added pressure of being ‘the guy they got for Cliff Lee’.

phan52, the Phillies may or may not have been looking for major league ready players, but as Junior stated, the Phillies were “restocking the farm system”. And, as you indicated, if Morrow being major league ready was questionable you would expect the Phillies to know about him and to be interested in him to assist in “restocking the farm system” at a level higher than class A. why would Morrow not have been part of the negotiations? We will never know.

Prospects ( assuming a reasonable talent level) need 2 things to prosper in the Major leagues- time ( to develop in the Minors) and opportunity ( to show they can play in the majors). Unfortunately Charlie, for all of his good points as a manager, has one large problem- a reluctance to use younger players over mediocre veterans with lesser ability, but experience. Charlie needs to loosen up and give guys like Herndon, Bastardo, Mathieson ( when they come up) a chance instead of being insecure and paranoid.

pherris, my last response to you precedes your post. Bit of a time warp here.

Wow — all I did was throw a lit match into the building. No off-days on this page.

First of all, it isn’t anyone’s job on this blog to know about young players. We have jobs. It is, however, the job of the Phillies’ scouts and developmental people to know.
And why would you not want Major League ready players in any deal? That doesn’t make sense.
Aumont has better upside than a guy already in a Major League rotation? OK, we’ll see, but Aumont is already 3 levels behind. If he can’t handle the pressure of being “the guy they got for Cliff Lee,” how is he going to handle the pressure of starting a playoff game – or any game? That’s ludicrous.

Continue…

muleman, I can assure you that Morrow would have been available in that trade instead of Aumont. As it is, Seattle gave him away for a middle reliever and a prospect. He was a guy floundering around without a define3d role. It looks like Seattle has a habit of doing that with their prospects because they did the same thing with Aumont in the couple of years he was there.
Morrow was not in a major league rotation until this season in Toronto. Now everybody loves him (although most never even heard of him until yesterday) and Aumont will never amount to anything. I will defer to your hindsight, if you wish.

Nice topic Mule: However, Salisburg is talking about a real issue: WHat to do with Dom Brown when Victorino returns. We all assumed that Mayberry would be sent down, however they just did that to recall Bastardo. FOr all the hoopla, brown is hitting .211 or something with 11 K’s since arriving and can’t hit lefties it seems. DO we send him down allowing him to play every day or bench him (GLoad has emerged as a legit 4th OF this month) AS Mule would say:

Discuss….

I am not trying to be a pain or trying to drag the Phillies down. I am really curious, what has happened as a whole to Phillies this year.? They had the look of running away in their division this year and the national league too. But, it seems they have been just an average team all year. Is it injuries? Lack of seeing the best out of the best? A missing part in the team? Manager? I am not a real fan, but I do follow what they are doing and they just don’t seem to be the team, I thought they would be this year. Thanks.

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