Hernia surgery to sideline Brad Lidge for at least three weeks

Nationals relief pitcher Brad Lidge will have surgery Tuesday to repair a hernia, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (all the Nationals beat writers then confirmed his report, so it's legit). The report states Lidge "should" be ready to start throwing again in three weeks. So then he'll have to work his arm back in shape after that.

This is a decent blow to the Nationals in terms of bullpen depth, as they're already thinned in the late innings due to closer Drew Storen being on the shelf for the entire first half of the season. They aren't in dire straits, though, because Tyler Clippard and Henry Rodriguez will be manning the eighth and ninth innings. Plus, Craig Stammen and Sean Burnett have been great.

With Storen out, manager Davey Johnson's plan was to use both Lidge and Rodriguez as his closers, so now it's just Rodriguez. The 25-year-old right hander has pitched well this season, sporting a 2.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in nine innings. He's converted five of his six save chances.

Lidge, 35, has two saves and two blown saves with a 5.14 ERA and 2.00 WHIP this season. He signed a one-year contract with the Nats this past offseason.

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