Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:29 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 8:12 pm
The Phillies weren't sure Ryan Madson could close.
They wanted Brad Lidge to pitch the ninth inning. Then Lidge got hurt, and they chose Jose Contreras over Madson.
Then Contreras got hurt, and Madson showed he could handle it.
Now Madson is hurt.
The Phillies put Madson on the disabled list Tuesday with a right hand contusion, which means their DL now includes three closers -- and their active roster includes none.
Andrew Carpenter was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Madson's place on the roster.
Madson hasn't pitched since June 18, but the Phillies haven't had a ninth-inning save opportunity since June 12 (when Madson recorded his 15th save in 16 chances this year). Of the pitchers on the Phillies' active roster, only Antonio Bastardo has a save this year (he has two).
Manager Charlie Manuel told reporters that he would use either Bastardo or Michael Stutes to close, but that Bastardo would likely get more of the chances. Manuel also told reporters that Madson may return from the DL as soon as next Monday.
Posted on: May 20, 2011 10:54 pm
PHILADELPHIA -- Perhaps surprisingly, the ninth inning has been the least of the Phillies' worries this season.
First Jose Contreras filled in for the injured Brad Lidge, and he was perfect. Then Contreras got hurt, Ryan Madson filled in, and he's been just as perfect.
Now Contreras is on his way back.
And so, against all odds, is Lidge.
His shoulder injury sounded ominous when he went on the disabled list in the final week of spring training. Phillies people wondered if he'd pitch at all this season.
But Lidge will head to Florida on Sunday, and he said Friday night that he may be only 2-3 weeks from rejoining the Phillies' bullpen. Even he seems surprised by how good he feels, and how fast he may be coming back.
"I can tell you I feel very strong," he said. "I can tell you I haven't felt this strong in a long time."
At this point, no matter how good Lidge feels, it's hard to believe the Phillies would go away from using Madson as the closer. He's 8-for-8 in saves, and has a 0.50 ERA in 18 appearances.
He also has a walk-in song that fits his situation perfectly: Journey's "Don't stop believin'."
Posted on: March 25, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: March 25, 2011 12:07 pm
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies closer Brad Lidge will open the season on the disabled list, the team said Friday morning.
Lidge told reporters that he has "lingering issues" with his right shoulder, and that he will see a doctor on Saturday. Lidge said he hopes to be able to return by the middle of April, but he hasn't looked good this spring and there is some concern within the organization that his condition could be more serious.
Lidge has allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings this spring, and his velocity has been down. He was shut down for a week with biceps tendinitis, but the shoulder problem is something new.
"I'm a little concerned, because I haven't had shoulder problems in the past," Lidge told reporters .
Lidge began last season on the DL because of an elbow problem. He missed the start of the 2008 season with a knee injury, but came back to go 48-for-48 in save opportunities as the Phillies won the World Series.
The Phillies will also begin the season without second baseman Chase Utley, who hasn't played this spring because of a knee problem. Utley continues to take batting practice, and to field ground balls while sitting on a stool, but he has yet been able to run, let alone play in a game.
Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras are likely to close games in Lidge's absence. Madson has been a very good setup man when healthy, but has had mixed success as a closer. He had 10 saves in 16 opportunities in 2009. Contreras, who spent most of his career as a starter, saved four games for the Phillies last year.
The Phillies still aren't sure who will replace Utley, either at second base or in the third spot in the lineup. They've been auditioning Luis Castillo, who was released last week by the Mets, but the early reviews haven't been very good, and there's a real chance that Castillo will be released before opening day.
The other options for the Phillies at second base are Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 9:56 am
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Posted on: May 3, 2010 6:12 pm
PHILADELPHIA -- And the Phillies closer is . . .
"I don't know," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Watch the game."
Really, you shouldn't be. This is the team and the manager that used four starting pitchers in the same game during last fall's playoffs. This is the team that made it all the way to Game 6 of the World Series without really knowing who the closer was.
Now, Brad Lidge is back from the disabled list, but Manuel said before today's game with the Cardinals that he doesn't plan to use Lidge as his closer yet. And Ryan Madson, who filled in while Lidge spent the first month of the season on the disabled list, is on the DL himself, headed for surgery on his right big toe.
And the Phillies closer is . . .
Well, Manuel suggested today that it could be Jose Contreras, who is (at least) 38 years old and has never saved a major-league game in his life.
"Right now, we're just kind of searching," Manuel admitted.
Look down the list of Phillies relievers, and it's not like there are any obvious options. Manuel has the most trust in Contreras, who has a 1.35 ERA in eight appearances, and Chad Durbin, who has a 2.19 ERA but has only four career saves (and two of those were for pitching three innings with a large lead).
The rest of the bullpen: Left-hander J.C. Romero, who has 571 big-league appearances but just four saves; journeyman right-hander Nelson Figueroa, whose one career save was in an 11-inning game last week in San Francisco; rookie David Herndon; and Danys Baez, who has 114 career saves but has a 8.10 ERA and two blown saves in 11 middle-relief appearances this season.
And the Phillies closer is . . .
"I'll make up my mind when I'm standing there next to [pitching coach Rich] Dubee in the dugout," Manuel said.
And the Phillies closer is . . .
Watch the game and find out.
Posted on: September 1, 2009 10:18 am
White Sox general manager Ken Williams saw that the core of his team was aging. He knew that in order to win another World Series, the White Sox had to turn their team over.
He tried to do it without ever admitting to rebuilding.
"You know me, and you know (manager Ozzie Guillen)," Williams said in a conversation before spring training. "You know how competitive we are. Do you think we could go into a season where we didn't think we'd have a chance?"
So the White Sox went for it -- sort of.
They never put all their resources into this year's team. They made all their moves with at least one eye on the future.
And when they got to the end of August and realized that this team wasn't going to win, they pulled the plug. They traded away Jim Thome and Jose Contreras, and let it be known that they were willing to move Jermaine Dye, Scott Linebrink and others, too.
Some have portrayed this as an abrupt change in plans, but really it's not.
Yes, it's true, the White Sox took on two big salaries when they traded for Jake Peavy and acquired Alex Rios on waivers. But Peavy was always about the future more than about the present, and Rios was a player Williams always wanted as part of the White Sox team he was trying to build. Adding Peavy and Rios never meant the White Sox were "going for it" this year.
The Peavy deal made little sense in the context of 2009, anyway. As part of the package to get him, the White Sox gave up Clayton Richard, who was in their rotation at the time. They knew that Peavy wouldn't be ready to pitch until late August at the earliest, but they were willing to give up a month's worth of starts -- because they saw Peavy as the ace of the team they were building for 2010 and beyond.
Will that team of the future have a better be good enough to win?
It's too early to say that. What we do know now is that this 2009 White Sox team wasn't good enough.
The Sox tried to rebuild and contend at the same time. Now they're hoping they can go 1 for 2.
Posted on: August 28, 2009 6:19 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2009 10:52 pm
NEW YORK -- You've got to love Ozzie Guillen.
Wednesday, he told reporters that he wouldn't start Jose Contreras again because, "I've got three kids, and I want to see my grandkids when they are born. I don't want to get a heart attack before my time."
Friday, Guillen named Contreras his starting pitcher for Saturday's game against the Yankees.
"I don't have any choices," said Guillen, after his team lost 5-2 to the Yankees to fall into third place in the American League Central for the first time this month.
The White Sox have lost four of the first five games on a trip to Boston, New York, Minnesota and Wrigley Field, to fall five games behind the first-place Tigers. They're in danger of falling out of the race before Jake Peavy even makes his Sox debut.
Peavy was at Yankee Stadium Friday afternoon, but he was scheduled to fly to Norfolk, Va., Friday night. Peavy will start for Triple-A Charlotte, in what should be his final minor-league rehab start.
"Obviously, that's what I'm hoping for," Peavy said. "I hope I can go five or six, maybe even seven, and throw 100 pitches or so. Hopefully after that I'll be ready to start here."
Peavy said the White Sox haven't decided when that first start would be. He would be on schedule to start a Thursday makeup game against the Cubs, but that game will be played under National League rules, and the White Sox might prefer not to have him test his ankle while running the bases. Peavy went on the disabled list with an ankle injury in early June, when he was pitching for the Padres.
Posted on: February 20, 2009 4:23 pm
PHOENIX -- Here's why we love Ozzie Guillen.
A day after admitting that some of his White Sox players are concerned that he might sometimes "throw them under the bus," the Sox manager talked today about how good his team could be.
After first revealing that Jose Contreras will likely be able to start a game by the end of spring training, Guillen said: "If we have Contreras and (Bartolo) Colon, watch out. We're good without them."
Contreras is coming back from a torn Achilles tendon, and even earlier this month general manager Ken Williams said he wasn't counting on the veteran right-hander until midseason. But Contreras, who has lost weight and looks better physically than he has in years, has continued to make amazing progress.
As for Colon, who had surgery to clean out his elbow last fall, Guillen said the right-hander told him he plans to be ready to help.