Tag:Brad Lidge
Posted on: April 24, 2011 9:12 pm

Phillies place Contreras on DL, Madson to close

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jose ContrerasAnthony Bastardo picked up the one-out save for the Phillies on Sunday as Jose Contreras got another day of "rest."

After the game, the team put the 39-year-old right-hander not he disabled list with a strained flexor pronator tendon in his right elbow. He will return to Philadelphia to see the team physician to see if there's further damage to the elbow.

Contreras is already a fill-in for closer Brad Lidge, who will be out until at least the All-Star break with a partially torn rotator cuff.

Although Bastardo got the call on Sunday, the team says Ryan Madson will take over the full-time job as the Phillies' closer, with Bastardo the main set-up man. After that?

"It's thin," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Matt Geib of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Contreras hasn't pitched since Thursday and the move to the DL will be retroactive to Friday. He had converted all five of his save opportunities this season and hadn't allowed a run. He'd thrown five times in the previous seven games, throwing 81 pitches in that span.

The team called up right-hander Michael Stutes, who will join the team Monday in Phoenix.

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Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:50 am

Phillies not expecting Lidge anytime soon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brad LidgePhillies closer Brad Lidge will be out until around the All-Star break, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Wednesday on MLB Network Radio.

"I'm probably looking at maybe All-Star break, or … just before that," Manuel said (via MLB.com).

Lidge is suffering from a right posterior rotator cuff strain and started the season on the disabled list.

Jose Contreras is serving as the team's closer in Lidge's absence. Contreras picked up the save in Wednesday night's victory over the Mets, walking one and striking out one in an inning of work. He's appeared in two game so far this season.

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 6:28 pm

Phillies' Lidge shut down for 3-6 weeks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jose ContrerasWith news that closer Brad Lidge won't be able to throw for another three to six weeks, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he will likely turn to Jose Contreras to close.

Lidge had an MRI on Tuesday and it showed a posterior rotator cuff sprain, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters, including the Philadelphia Daily News' Paul Hagen. Lidge won't need surgery, Amaro said.

"Hopefully after another three weeks, if he's feeling OK, he'll start throwing and then we'll progress him from there," Amaro said. "We're glad it's not a labrum. That' son the bright side of things. But it's still significant."

In Lidge's absence, the team will turn to the 39-year-old Contreras over Ryan Madson, who has been groomed to take over for Lidge.

"Right now, with the way it looks, here lately we've been using Contreras," Manuel said. "Of course, Madson is still there. At the same time, to start the season, it looks like it might be Contreras. I don't know yet. But I'd say right now, if I had to pick somebody tonight, it would probably be Contreras."

Madson will likely stay in his set-up roll. In the past, he's struggled when asked to close.

Manuel also said Ben Francisco will be starting in the place of rookie Domonic Brown, who is out with a fracture of the hook in his hamate bone in his right hand. John Mayberry Jr. had a good spring, tying with Ryan Howard for the team lead with five home runs, but Francisco wasn't too bad either, hitting .385 with four home runs this spring.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:01 pm

Madson hopes save troubles are behind him

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan MadsonWith Brad Lidge starting the season on the disabled list, Ryan Madson is on the Phillies' short list to fill-in as the team's closer in Lidge's absence.

Madson would seem a natural choice. Since going to the bullpen full-time in 2007, the 30-year-old right-hander has a 3.01 ERA and 17 saves in 248 games. He has more strikeouts (252) than hits allowed (242) in 269 innings, and a respectable 1.201 WHIP. Last season he had a 2.55 ERA and a 1.038 WHIP in 55 appearances, along with five saves.

The problem is he had 10 save opportunities last season and converted only five of them. In his career, he has four more blown saves than converted saves -- 24 blown to 20 saved.

This is where much of the hypotheticals of baseball fail -- the way people react to real-life situations are tough to put into numbers -- and I say that as a full-fledged subscriber to the numbers. The numbers say Madson should be able to get three outs at a time. In fact, in innings other than the ninth, he does that pretty well. Serving as the Phillies' primary set-up man, Madson (35) actually appeared in more high leverage situations than Lidge (32) in 2009. He appeared in fewer last season, but it was close (26 vs. 31). In high-leverage situations he performs even better -- he's got a better strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.15) in high-leverage situations than in other leverage situations, a better batting-average against (.238) and OPS (.667) in high-leverage situations.

In short, Madson has been one of baseball's best setup men, even when thrown into a high-pressure situation. It's just that when he's been called on for those last three outs, it's never seemed to work.

A high-leverage situation should be the same whether it's in the eighth inning or the ninth inning -- unless you make it different in your head. And that's something Madson has admitted he's done. That's how being a closer is different than being a reliever, finding your peace with that in your own head.

Madson told the Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb that he thinks a talk with his agent, Scott Boras, has helped him come to terms with closing and approach it the right way.

"He said, 'Tell me what your mentality was when you were closing,'" Madson recalled. "I was like, I thought I was going to be perfect. I really thought I was going to be perfect and not blow one save. That was my mentality going out there. That's what I was like in the minor leagues, so I stuck with it. Well it doesn't work that way. You're putting too much emphasis on every pitch. It has to be perfect. Then when you blow a save, it carries on and little things happen. It's so finicky of an inning you can't be finicky with your mooned. You just have to be solid and just know, 'This is going to happen. Tomorrow it's not.'"

Madson, a free agent after this season, may think he's got it figured out, but Lidge's injury gives him a chance to put it to a real test.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:21 am
Edited on: March 25, 2011 10:23 am
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Posted on: February 14, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:26 am

Video: Phillies open camp

CBSSports.com's Mark Miller and senior writer Scott Miller were in Clearwater, Fla., today as the Philadelphia Phillies reported for camp. Here's the video of their visit:
Closer Brad Lidge is ready for 2011, and should be in line for plenty of save opportunities.
And rookie Domonic Brown says he's ready to step in for Jayson Werth. Brown appeared in 35 games for the Phillies last season, hitting .210/.257/.355 with two home runs.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 26, 2010 10:47 am

Torres 'much better'

Andres Torres
Just when Andres Torres started heating up for the Giants in the postseason, it looked like he might be lost.

The outfielder came up limping after diving into first base on a bunt single in Game 6 of the NLCS, and was diagnosed with a mild strain of a muscle near his left hip. But Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Torres is "much better" and hopes to have him available in his customary leadoff spot for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday.

Torres wasn't willing to say for certain that he'll be ready to go, only that "I hope so."

Torres, who had an appendectomy in September, went 2-for-16 in the division series against Atlanta, and got off to a 1-for-10 start in the first three games of the NLCS. But in the final three games he went 6-for-10 with a pair of walks.

He had three hits in the clinching Game 6, two of them against Roy Oswalt. After legging out the bunt single against Brad Lidge in the ninth, Torres says he came out of the game because he didn't want the injury to hamper him on defense in the bottom of the inning with the Giants up by a run. Aaron Rowand replaced him in center field, but it turns out it wouldn't have mattered -- the Phillies didn't hit anything past the infield in the ninth.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 21, 2010 1:52 am

Oswalt volunteered to pitch 9th

Roy Oswalt Roy Oswalt's 18-pitch outing in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series won't change his status as the Game 6 starter, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

"I don't think so. I think that he knows himself a little bit more than I do," Manuel said in the postgame news conference . "And [pitching coach Rich] Dubee watches him a lot. He's closer to him than I am. He spends more time with him."

Manuel also said it was Oswalt's idea to warm up and make himself available. Oswalt had thrown a bullpen earlier in the day.

He said he wanted to be in there," Manuel said. "He said he'd be glad to go."

Still, it was Manuel's decision to use him instead of his closer, Brad Lidge.

"I was definitely ready, but not surprised. It was on the road -- so only with the lead," Lidge said (via David Hale of the News Journal ). "That's how I've done it my whole career, that's how most closers do it. At home, that ninth inning is mine. On the road, the way I've always done it is with a lead I'm going in, and if it's a tie game, no, unless it keeps dragging on."

The Phillies were at the top of the line, No. 2 hitter Chase Utley made the last out of the top of the ninth, so it's no stretch that Lidge could have pitched two innings.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com