Results tagged ‘ Brad Lidge ’

Schmidt Won’t Be in Camp this Spring

Mike Schmidt, Charlie ManuelThe Phillies are bringing several former players to Spring Training next month as guest instructors, but they will be without Mike Schmidt in Clearwater, Fla., for the first time in more than a decade.

The Phillies announced today that five former Phillies will be in camp: Roy Halladay, who retired in December; Brad Lidge, who recorded the final out of the 2008 World Series; Gary Matthews, the former TV broadcaster and outfielder for the 1983 National League championship team; Larry Andersen, the current radio broadcaster and pitcher for the 1983 and 1993 NL championship teams; and Dave Hollins, the current scout and former third baseman for the 1993 team.

Schmidt had been in Clearwater every year since 2002, mostly as a guest instructor.

“Mike is treating a health issue that requires him to remain near his doctors, and he will be unable to attend Spring Training as a field instructor this year,” a Phillies spokesman said in a statement. “Mike plans to visit camp in the middle of March as part of his marketing relationship with the Phillies and continue his normal visits to Philadelphia throughout the summer.”

It seemed a certainty Halladay would be in camp, based on what he said in December at the Winter Meetings.

“Baseball has been so great to me,” he said. “My goal is to try and leave baseball better than what I found it, and I’ve tried to do that in my career. I’ve tried to be respectful to the game and do things the right way. I’ve tried to do that to the best of my ability, and moving forward, I’d like to do the same.”

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg extended an open invitation to Halladay at that time.

Lidge and Andersen will be able to offer advice and perspective to the organization’s young relievers, who need to step up this season to give the team a chance to win. Andersen has been interested in coaching again after working as pitching coach with Double-A Reading (1995-96) and Triple-A Scranton (1997).

“It’s my passion, working with guys in the bullpen,” he said. “It’s all about making the team better. That’s the bottom line.”

Matthews has coaching experience, serving as hitting coach for the Blue Jays, Brewers and Cubs. Hollins served as a hitting coach in the Mets organization from 2004-05.

Doc Will Get His Chances

Roy HalladayRoy Halladay has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for more than a decade, so he has earned the right to pitch through his problems, if he can.

The Phillies made that clear today at Citizens Bank Park, where Ruben Amaro Jr. said Halladay gets as long as he needs to correct himself, and Charlie Manuel said he is completely committed to his former ace.

Manuel offered an example of just how long his leash can be.

“You guys used to get on me about Brad Lidge,” he said, referring to Lidge’s 2009 season when he went 0-8 with a 7.21 ERA and 11 blown saves. “I used to look down there, and to me Brad Lidge was probably the best I had. If I was going to lose the game it was going to be Brad Lidge. I was committed to Brad Lidge. If I commit to you then I commit to you. And whatever happens is going to happen. That’s kind of how I look at it.”

Halladay has a ghastly 14.73 ERA through two starts, which follows struggles in Spring Training and struggles in 2012. He has allowed 12 hits, 12 runs, six walks, three home runs, one hit batter, two wild pitches and struck out 12 in just 7 1/3 innings this season.

Amaro and Manuel said they never considered holding back Halladay, having him pitch in extended Spring Training games before he was better prepared to pitch in the Phillies rotation. To have him pitch extended Spring Training games, the Phillies would have needed to place him on the disabled list, but Amaro said Halladay is not injured.

In fact, he said Halladay has not been on the team’s daily injury report once this year.

“Roy felt he was physically ready to go,” Amaro said. “There wasn’t anything real alarming.”

“Roy has earned the right to tell us how he feels, and how he wants to go about certain things when it comes to his routine and his pitching and things like that,” Manuel added. “We never once thought about shutting him down or nothing. I can tell you that. You know something else? Shutting him down ain’t the right way, either. I don’t see no way in the world, if he’s healthy and everything like that, we shut him down.”

Reds Get Madson

Ryan Madson wants to be a closer, so while the Phillies would have loved to have had him in their 2012 bullpen as a setup man, he is headed to Cincinnati on a one-year, $8.5 million contract.

I never would have predicted that in November.

Back in November it appeared the Phillies and Madson were close to a four-year, $44 million extension. But the negotiations hit a snag (one side said they had a verbal agreement, the other side said they didn’t) and the Phillies decided to spend $6 million more to sign Jonathan Papelbon. Meanwhile, the closing opportunities for Madson dried up and instead of getting the monster pay day he hoped, he has to pitch in Cincinnati for one season before hitting the market again. That’s not exactly how Scott Boras planned it, but that’s the situation.

It will be a strange spring training without Madson and possibly Brad Lidge in the clubhouse. They were the final two pieces of the 2008 World Series bullpen. But there is still a chance Lidge is back. He remains unsigned, and the longer he is out there I think the chances improve the Phillies could sign him to a Minor League deal. Read Paul Hagen‘s story on Lidge here.

Hagen recently joined MLB.com after leaving the Daily News. He is an awesome addition to our staff. Hagen will be writing plenty of national stories, but he’ll get a chance to write his share of Phillies stories, too. That’s great for everybody. I actually meant to post this back in December, but … welcome aboard, Paul. Thrilled to have you on the team.

The Market Is Open

This isn’t big news, but 148 players became free agents this morning. Free agents are eligible to sign with any team beginning at 12:01 a.m.  Thursday.

The Phillies have seven free agents:

  • Ross Gload
  • Raul Ibanez
  • Brad Lidge
  • Ryan Madson
  • Roy Oswalt
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • Brian Schneider

Phillies Decline Options for Lidge, Oswalt

This is no surprise, but …

The Phillies officially declined the 2012 options for Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt.

“While we will not pick up either of their options, we will remain in contact with representatives for both players about the possibility of bringing them back for the 2012 season,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement.  “Brad and Roy both made significant contributions to the Phillies over the past several seasons.”

Lidge, 34, went 0-2 with one save and a 1.40 ERA in 25 appearances this season. He struck out 23 batters in 19.1 innings, an average of 10.7 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched.  In four seasons (2008-11) with Philadelphia, Lidge posted a 3-11 record with 100 saves and a 3.73 ERA.  In 22 postseason appearances, he went 1-1 with 12 saves in 12 opportunities and a 1.77 ERA. Lidge will receive a $1.5 million buyout for the Phillies declining their club option.

Oswalt, also 34, went 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts for the Phillies this past season.  In 36 regular season games (35 starts) since being acquired from the Houston Astros on July 29, 2010, he was 16-11 with a 2.96 ERA. Oswalt will receive $2 million for the Phillies declining their side of a mutual option.

UPDATE: Agents for both Oswalt and Lidge said their clients are interested in returning to Philly.

Finally, A ‘W’

Is everybody feeling better?

A few notes from yesterday’s s victory over the Mets, which snapped an eight-game losing streak:

  • You could feel a little extra energy in the clubhouse before the 9-4 victory because players knew they finally had their everyday lineup on the field. It was just the fifth time they’ve that since Hunter Pence joined the team. (They’re 5-0 in those games.) It was just the 16th time this season they’ve had that, including Domonic Brown or Ben Francisco. (They’re 12-4 in those games.)
  • Roy Halladay improved to 19-6. Halladay (2005-11) will be the sixth pitcher in baseball history to finish at least seven games over .500 in seven or more consecutive seasons. The other pitchers to do that are in the Hall of Fame: Tim Keefe (seven years, 1883-89), John Clarkson (nine, 1884-92), Kid Nichols (nine, 1890-98), Christy Mathewson (12, 1903-14) and Lefty Grove (seven, 1927-33).
  • Antonio Bastardo continues to struggle. He is saying the slider doesn’t feel good coming out of his hand. I’ve got to think his confidence is shot, too. Whatever the case, Bastardo has three games to figure out things before the postseason. He said he hopes to pitch one or two more times to see if he can get that feel back. If he can’t? I think they go with the right-handers. (What other choice do they have?) We saw Vance Worley taking over for Bastardo in the seventh inning. He could be an option, along with Mike Stutes and Brad Lidge.

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Glorious Bastardo

Everybody knows Antonio Bastardo has been a bullpen savior, right?

He is 6-0 with a 1.38 ERA in 55 appearances. He has allowed just 19 hits, eight runs and 19 walks in 52 1/3 innings. He has struck out 65. Opponents have hit just .112 against him. He got Joey Votto to hit into an inning-ending double play in the seventh inning in today’s 6-4 victory over the Reds. He then struck out the side in the eighth.

“I can’t say enough about him,” Charlie Manuel said. “He’s had a big year. Bastardo to me is outstanding – one of the better years I’ve seen a lefty have.”

Forget lefties. Bastardo is having one of the best seasons for a relief pitcher ever.

His .112 opponent batting average is the lowest in baseball history for any pitcher with 50 or more innings in a season. Eric Gagne held opponents to a .133 average in 2003, which is the second-best in baseball history.

“It’s crazy how dominating he’s been,” Brad Lidge said. “I’ve been in a lot of bullpens with a lot of good pitchers and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone doing what he’s doing right now.”

“He’s always had an invisi-ball,” Vance Worley said. “It was just a matter of time before he came up here and got to show what he can do. He’s doing what he needs to do.”

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Injury Updates from Toronto

Greetings from Toronto.

A few injury updates for everybody:

  • Cole Hamels (bruised right hand) played catch this morning at Rogers Centre. He said he felt much better. “I’m good,” he said, flexing and moving his right hand to show the improvement. Hamels said he plans to throw a bullpen session tomorrow and make his scheduled start Tuesday in Florida. He said he normally would have thrown a bullpen session today, but the Phillies pushed it back to give the hand a chance to heal.
  • Ryan Madson (bruised right hand) played catch this morning. Rich Dubee said it went well. But because Madson has not pitched since June 18 there is a good chance he will need to make a rehab assignment before he is activated. So he won’t be activated Monday, when he is first eligible.
  • Roy Oswalt (lower back inflammation) received a second opinion on his back Friday in Dallas. The Phillies said spine surgeon Andrew Dossett concurred with the Phillies’ diagnosis: Oswalt has mild bulging discs in his back. Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Oswalt will continue his prescribed treatment, which involves injections. “He should be able to begin tossing shortly there after,” Proefrock said. Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week he thinks there’s a chance Oswalt pitches before the end of the month.
  • Brad Lidge (strained right rotator cuff) threw a bullpen session yesterday in Reading. He could begin a rehab assignment early next week.
  • Joe Blanton (right elbow inflammation) is playing catch today, but has not thrown off a mound.
  • Jose Contreras (strained right forearm) is “progressing.”

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Madson Making His Case to Close

We’ve talked plenty lately about the shortcomings of the Phillies offense, so let’s take a look this morning at Ryan Madson‘s performance in the bullpen.

He’s 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA and seven saves in seven opportunities. He has allowed 10 hits, one run, seven walks (three intentional walks) and has struck out 22 in 17 innings. Opponents have hit .167 against him.

He’s done the job.

So what happens if Jose Contreras comes back next week?

So what happens if Brad Lidge comes back next month?

Contreras went 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and five saves in five opportunities before he went on the DL. He allowed four hits, four walks and struck out nine in eight innings. Lidge hasn’t pitched since last season, but went 0-0 with a 0.73 ERA and 17 saves in 18 opportunities from Aug. 1 through the end of the regular season.

The Phillies would be incredibly fortunate to have Lidge, Madson and Contreras healthy and pitching effectively at the same time. But even if the planets align perfectly I think it’d be hard to move Madson from the ninth inning. Contreras did a fine job early, but Madson has been overpowering. And it will have been roughly eight months since Lidge last threw a pitch in a big-league game, if he returns next month. I’m not sure the Phillies want to just drop him back into the ninth inning.

“It will be a tough decision, but I think it’ll work itself out,” Charlie Manuel said. “I think when [Madson is] pitching like that, he kind of makes it tough right now to move him. What would be the point?”

Exactly.

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Updates on Contreras, Lidge, Utley and More

Chatted with Ruben Amaro Jr. for nearly 20 minutes this morning in the visitor’s dugout at Turner Field.

Here’s the latest on the Phillies’ injured.

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