Commentary: Lidge ‘Issue’ Reveals Real Failure

Reports are Brad Lidge hurt the knee that he had surgery on last season. While there’s no word yet on the extensiveness of this “issue,” it’s a clear shot right to the left foot of the Phillies front office.

If Lidge is out for any considerable amount of time (I’m thinking a week of the 2008 season), the Phillies can’t afford it. The relief depth is low on Major League experience, and of the experience, three are injury concerns (Lidge, Gordon, Madson) and one has a very shaky past (Romero). It’s not a good situation.

It’s a clear comment on the Phillies offseason plan. Instead of buying some low-cost relief options (David Riske was always on my radar), they sat pat on the bullpen, claiming they improved it by grabbing Lidge. Instead, they moved lateral, removing one piece (Myers) for another (Lidge). They also removed Geoff Geary and gained Shane Youman. Bottom line: The Phillies made absolutely no improvements on last season’s bottom-feeding relief staff.

Now there’s potential for the Phillies to walk into Opening Day with Tom Gordon as closer. Again. Who’s option No. 3? Romero? Myers again? It’s unacceptable.

The Phillies can salvage any potential problems by buying some of the low-cost free agents remaining. Bob Wickman, Armando Benitez, Antonio Alfonseca and Akinori Otsuka come to mind. None are completely reliable (as we saw with Alfonseca), but they represent able bodies that can do a little work late in games and — most importantly — have experience. You can’t toy around with youth late in games.

The other option is signing a free-agent starter and moving Myers back to the bullpen (making Lidge the setup man if he isn’t injured badly). Who’s available? Well, Kyle Lohse, for one. And my favorite: Bartolo Colon.

Click to comment


  1. Brian

    February 23, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Bartolo Colon? Get real. Are you seeing ANY other team trying to sign him? No. That should tell you enough.

  2. Sean P.

    February 23, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    The Phillies could sign Jesus himself as the #1 pitcher and he would probably pull a groin muscle before opening day. They have no luck when it comes to this pitching.

    Or, is this a trick – just some elaborate scheme by Brett Myers. Maybe Brett will come out and say haha all you fans are punk’t.

  3. rob

    February 23, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    You can make a serious argument that the Phillies won the NL East last year based on the strength of their bullpen down the stretch.

    And the Mets’ bullpen certainly played a big part in them losing it.

    Yet winter comes, and both teams did little/nothing to improve their pens.

    I find that….misguided.

  4. Steve

    February 24, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Antonio Alfonseca? Some people never learn.

  5. Ped

    February 24, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Picking up Kyle Lohse would be awesome.

  6. Sam

    February 24, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    David Riske was one name, but there are some pretty terrible options out there. If you’re willing to grab Wickman or Alfonseca, what’s the harm in letting Gordon close for the week you said Lidge could be out for.

    I also think you aren’t giving the phillies enough credit…they resigned romero for one thing and added lidge, 2 above average relief options. They also made a number of in-season upgrades over the course of the 2007 season—go ahead and look at the bullpen from opening day last year and compare it with what we have this season and I think you’ll be as optomistic as I am.

    On a final note, I’m sure you remember the phillies set a team record for pitchers used. Last season, we had a much worse talent pool to draw up relievers from than we do this season. Last season, we used a number of career minor-leaguers and washed-up vets with little up-side: Mesa, Alfonseca, Anderson Garcia, Yoel Hernandez, Brian Sanches (all of whom have left the club this off-season), Matt Smith, Kane Davis, and John Ennis. This group gave up 90 earned runs in 150 innings.

    The reserves we have this year are more promising and include some of our best prospects—Scott Mathieson, Outman, Carassco, Zagurski (who could be better this year), Castro, Happ, etc. etc.

  7. Kwasi

    February 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Let’s see what the diagnosis is before we come to any rash conclusions. But the Phillies do have terrible luck with injuries as do the Flyers. If Lidge isn’t ready for Opening Day then we will have to resort to Gordon closing until he is ready. There are some options out there and re-signing Lohse would provide depth. Bartolo Colon is done or he would have be signed by someone already.

    Let’s breathe nervously for the time being until we know what is going on.

  8. Alphonse Dattolo

    February 24, 2008 at 12:59 pm


  9. Phils Suck

    February 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Phillies are done. They suck so bad anyway.

  10. Chris.I

    February 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    God I hate fu*king Mets fans..Always talking Sh*t….Look the MRI hasn’t come back yet, so everyone don’t get your panties in a bunch just yet. 10-1 He”ll be ready to pitch opening day. I agree however that we are cursed with pitching. Always have been.

  11. Metaphorically Speaking

    February 24, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    (Good example of the front office)
    Lets say hypothetically the Phillies pitchers are baseball cards…(Any card collector would understand)
    Lets say Brad Lidge was a Mike Schmidt rookie card (200$) and the front office was the collector in this situation….If he was graded what he used to be before the Pujols homerun, He’d still be graded 9-10 (mint), But in his situation now his card is getting worse, graded 4-5, value drops ALOT. The Phillies are known for this shit. Buying cards that have high value, but in poor condition.

  12. Gavin

    February 24, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Lidge has to have surgery……scope….he could be back by opening day…… but it appears his knee is less than 100% no matter what. The Phils need to sign a few of the RP left and hope that they have a surplus rather than try and put band-aids on broken legs. This sh** gets old.

  13. VA Steve

    February 24, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    People, relax. Still five weeks until opening day. It’s better to lose Lidge for a couple of weeks or so now than, say in June, July, Aug. Maybe not the best situation, but we do have major league arms in camp, i.e. the Durbin bros, Eaton, Happ, as well as a slew of kids on the farm. We need to get over the fact that we may be cursed, and get on with winning some games.

  14. typhoon

    February 24, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Otsuka is injured worse than Lidge, Lidge will be back way before Otsuka. I would sign Wickman to set up for Gordon until Lidge comes back to close, which should only be a few weeks at the most.

  15. bob s.

    February 24, 2008 at 9:20 pm



    we just love those Mets fans that have such short memories……

    Why in the world don’t the Phillies sign Lohse….he would be the number 4 guy….can never have enough arms

  16. Chris Staten Island STS Caddy

    February 24, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    We all know this is your match to Santana. Oh boy…long season are yalls ready?

    Mets 2008 WS Champs

    phillies 2008 chumpz

  17. Keith

    June 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    haha, silly Met fan.

    Phillies were the World Champions.

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