Lidge Has Shoulder Pain, Will Open Season on DL

Thumbnail image for lidge spring 2011 a.jpg

More bad news from Clearwater.

Brad Lidge will open the season on the DL because of pain in his right shoulder. He will be examined tomorrow by team physician Michael Ciccotti. He will receive a MRI exam next week in Philadelphia. Lidge said he is hopeful he could return by mid-April, but for the moment Ryan Madson or Jose Contreras will be closing games. 

Here is what he said:

Q: How did you feel yesterday?
A: It didn’t feel great. I still have some lingering issues with my shoulder. Experienced some post-shoulder discomfort in the back a little bit. Which is a little different from biceps tendinitis, but I think it probably relates a little bit. Either way, it didn’t go the way we were hoping basically trying to bump up from the percentage I was throwing at, which was hard to say exactly, but 85, 86, 87 mph range. Trying to get to the next step. Wasn’t ready yet. We’re going to have to take a little more time off and start back up again and hopefully give it a little more time to recover this time it’ll get us where we need to go.

Q: What does that do for Opening Day?
A: Opening Day I won’t be ready, based on what they’re telling me. Because we’re going to have to rest it for a while. It’s kind of up to them how long they want to rest it for. Then after that … get it examined. Dr. Ciccotti is going to look at it more tomorrow, determine to get a MRI or not. Then after that we’ll start picking it up based on what he says. But right now that’s kind of all I know. I’m still experiencing some discomfort in there, so we’re going to get more analysis.

Q: Has the pain moved a bit?
A: I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s a bad sign. I know that I wish there was no pain.

Q: But it has moved to the back of the shoulder?
A: There was always a little pain in the back, which we thought was from the biceps tendinitis. But there is that. I’m not really familiar with the shoulder. I haven’t had shoulder issues before, at least not for a long time. So I’m not really familiar with the discomfort and pain I’m having, so we’re going to have the doctor look at it tomorrow.

Q: Having the MRI to see if there’s structural damage?
A: Yeah, we’re obviously hoping we just need a little more time and this time we’ll get it a little more time. But I think the big step of trying to get from 80, 85 percent, wherever I was at, up to 90 to 100 percent, I’m not able to do it right now. So we’ve got to make sure that whatever we do this time we’re able to get past that and when I come back I can get there comfortably and not have to experience pain to try to get there.

Q: Are you fearful?
A: I’m a little concerned because I haven’t had shoulder problems in the past. That being said it might just be … there’s other things in there that you can have that can be a byproduct of just straining it and they’re not serious. That’s obviously what I’m counting on right now. Hopefully right now I just needed more time than we gave it.

Q: Given how good you felt this winter you must want to scream?
A: Yeah. It’s very frustrating. Yesterday I was really pretty upset just because coming into camp this year I felt really good. I don’t know where along the line I did it. I’m sure it was pretty early in camp. It’s just been very frustrating that it hasn’t gotten a lot smoother.

Q: Did the pain get worse with every pitch you threw yesterday?
A: By the end of the inning it was definitely not feeling good.

Q: Did you think about coming out in the middle of it?
A: I wanted to finish the inning. At least I wanted to try. It was actually the first pitch to the third hitter I faced I remember feeling like I was … I felt fortunate I got the first two guys out. I knew it wasn’t really bringing a whole lot, but I was like, “I can get through this inning.” At that point I knew I was experiencing more than I wanted to in my shoulder. Getting from 80 percent to the next jump is hard right now. We’re going to see what we can do and hopefully it won’t be anything serious.

Q: Did they give you any sense how long this could be?
A: I think we’re optimistic it’s hopefully a mid-April thing, hopefully coming back by then. Really the MRI and Dr. Ciccotti’s review is going to tell us everything we need to know. Until then, like I said, I’m not familiar with shoulder stuff, so I don’t know.

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19 Comments

To recap: $&*#!

I hate to say “I told you so,” but I knew better than to listen to all that optimistic tripe he was saying last week.
As much as it pains me to say it (since I hate the current state of pitching in MLB) a team without a closer is in big trouble.

muleman, I think it can safely be said that the Phillies haven’t had a legitimate closer for two years.
This is not a big deal, IMO. At least compared to RF and 2B, it’s not. I think it’s time for Madson to take the role and for Charlie to start trusting some of the young arms they have on the roster.

It’s a very big deal. The Phillies should have unloaded Lidge at the end of ’09. I’ll forever be a Brad Lidge fan for his performance in ’08. Couldn’t have done it with out him. But clearly he’s done physically. This is the third time in four seasons he’ll be on the DL opening day.

whitey, why is it a big deal? Are you surprised even a little bit?
And you don’t unload a player who you still owe 24 million (which is what they still owed him after the 2009 season) unless you are the Mets. They actually got something out of him last season, and they still may in 2011.

The state of Brad Lidge is a huge deal, as im sure a lot of you feel. Just look at the last 3 world series champs: 08 Phillies – Brad Lidge was perfect in save opportunities and dominant. 09 Yankees – Mo Rivera who was ridiculous in the W.S and hes always good. 10 Giants – Brian Wilson was arguably one of the best closers in the game, during the year of the pitcher. Theres definitely a coorelation between closer performance and winning in Oct.

Agree with phan 100%. Closers are so overrated, as evidenced by the Phillies success the past two years.

Gee, who would have thunk it?

phan52, your point regarding the money owed is well taken. That would present a problem. It’s a big deal simply because they need a reliable closer and don’t have one. No, I’m not the least bit surprised. I expected it really. True, he did do well last year, better than I remembered to be honest. I just checked the stats. 27 saves in 32 SVO. Time will tell, you may be right. I hope it turns out to be nothing major. All I can picture is any one of the “4 Aces” pitching 8 scoreless innings and Lidge coming in and blowing it. 2009 was almost too painful to watch. I hope you’re right. Here’s hoping!

If memory serves me Contreras filled the role as closer for a bit last year and did well. Another option. I like Madson in the set up spot but he hasn’t done well at all as closer. Probably a mental thing I’d assume.

phan52, your point regarding the money owed is well taken. That would present a problem. It’s a big deal simply because they need a reliable closer and don’t have one. No, I’m not the least bit surprised. I expected it really. True, he did do well last year, better than I remembered to be honest. I just checked the stats. 27 saves in 32 SVO. Time will tell, you may be right. I hope it turns out to be nothing major. All I can picture is any one of the “4 Aces” pitching 8 scoreless innings and Lidge coming in and blowing it. 2009 was almost too painful to watch. I hope you’re right. Here’s hoping!

If memory serves me Contreras filled the role as closer for a bit last year and did well. Another option. I like Madson in the set up spot but he hasn’t done well at all as closer. Probably a mental thing I’d assume.

phan52, your point regarding the money owed is well taken. That would present a problem. It’s a big deal simply because they need a reliable closer and don’t have one. No, I’m not the least bit surprised. I expected it really. True, he did do well last year, better than I remembered to be honest. I just checked the stats. 27 saves in 32 SVO. Time will tell, you may be right. I hope it turns out to be nothing major. All I can picture is any one of the “4 Aces” pitching 8 scoreless innings and Lidge coming in and blowing it. 2009 was almost too painful to watch. I hope you’re right. Here’s hoping!

If memory serves me Contreras filled the role as closer for a bit last year and did well. Another option. I like Madson in the set up spot but he hasn’t done well at all as closer. Probably a mental thing I’d assume.

phan: I’m afraid it is important to have a closer. If not during the regular season, certainly during the playoffs. Didn’t Lidge blow a key game in the ’09 WS?
Even though he wasn’t “perfect” in 2010, his WHIP and H/9, W/9 and SO/9 numbers were identical to his 2008 season. You could look it up.

Not having a closer changes the way managers treat pitchers going into the later innings. If they know they don’t have a dependable closer, they might allow a starter to pitch to an extra couple of batters or not pinch hit for them in late innings of close games.

Second basemen and right fielders are a heck of a lot easier to find than closers.

phan: I’m afraid it is important to have a closer. If not during the regular season, certainly during the playoffs. Didn’t Lidge blow a key game in the ’09 WS?
Even though he wasn’t “perfect” in 2010, his WHIP and H/9, W/9 and SO/9 numbers were identical to his 2008 season. You could look it up.

Not having a closer changes the way managers treat pitchers going into the later innings. If they know they don’t have a dependable closer, they might allow a starter to pitch to an extra couple of batters or not pinch hit for them in late innings of close games.

Second basemen and right fielders are a heck of a lot easier to find than closers.

phan: And what have they won in the last 2 years? Nothing. Thanks for making my point for me.
I’m afraid it is important to have a closer. If not during the regular season, certainly during the playoffs. Didn’t Lidge blow a key game in the ’09 WS?
Even though he wasn’t “perfect” in 2010, his WHIP and H/9, W/9 and SO/9 numbers were identical to his 2008 season. You could look it up.

Not having a closer changes the way managers treat pitchers going into the later innings. If they know they don’t have a dependable closer, they might allow a starter to pitch to an extra couple of batters or not pinch hit for them in late innings of close games.

Second basemen and right fielders are a heck of a lot easier to find than closers.

phan: And what have they won in the last 2 years? Nothing. Thanks for making my point for me.
I’m afraid it is important to have a closer. If not during the regular season, certainly during the playoffs. Didn’t Lidge blow a key game in the ’09 WS?
Even though he wasn’t “perfect” in 2010, his WHIP and H/9, W/9 and SO/9 numbers were identical to his 2008 season. You could look it up.

Not having a closer changes the way managers treat pitchers going into the later innings. If they know they don’t have a dependable closer, they might allow a starter to pitch to an extra couple of batters or not pinch hit for them in late innings of close games.

Second basemen and right fielders are a heck of a lot easier to find than closers.

phan52: Very true. Admittedly, he wasn’t 2008 (for the Phillies) Brad Lidge, but he still had a sub-3.00 ERA with an 84% save conversion in 2010. Neither of those are anything to sneeze at.

Heck, even in 2009, when his ERA topped 7.20, he still had a 74% save conversion. Papelbon, for instance, only has an 88% career save conversion, and even Mariano Rivera clocks in around 91-92%.

phan52: Very true. Admittedly, he wasn’t 2008 (for the Phillies) Brad Lidge, but he still had a sub-3.00 ERA with an 84% save conversion in 2010. Neither of those are anything to sneeze at.

Heck, even in 2009, when his ERA topped 7.20, he still had a 74% save conversion. Papelbon, for instance, only has an 88% career save conversion, and even Mariano Rivera clocks in around 91-92%.

This blog has become, well, useless for current information let along meaningful insight. Over the past year there is hardly a posting that provides unique information, insight, or independent thinking about the Phils. Please, where can I get a job like this that requires essentially no effort and produces so little.

Time to step it up Todd.

muleman, I don’t think they are without a closer without Lidge for any stretch of time. Contreras can do it for the short term and Madson will have to figure it out sooner or later. They both have the stuff. And BTW, yeah, it’s easier to find a second baseman. I mean, we found Luis Castillo, right?
Seriously dude, this team is far more diminished without Chase Utley than it is without Brad Lidge. It is not even close.

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