-Brad Lidge will throw from flat ground today before the Phillies take on the Boston Red Sox; another step in his recovery since hitting the DL last week. The Phillies closer has a cortisone injection (his fifth in a year; not a good sign) but said he should be ready to go once he comes off the DL next week.
Manuel and Dubee are going to have to take it slow with him before ramping him up into high-pressure and 9th inning situations. With Contreras doing a fantastic job in his new role, and the bullpen as a whole staying fresh, it should be easy for the coaching staff to ease Lidge back into his familiar setting. They cannot risk another set back.
-Speaking of Contreras, the guy has been awesome. One thought about that shaky ninth inning he had yesterday: that’s the sort of inning that makes a pitcher believe he can accomplish anything out on the mound. Contreras had a big smile after the game as his buddy Danys Baez translated for him, and why not? He’s flourishing in a role unfamiliar to him.
They call him “Big Truck” – well at least Charlie does now, because of the big vehicle he drives – and he’s been coming up big in the absence of the aforementioned Lidge. With 1st and 3rd and no one out, Jose got three straight outs. The dude already has a boatload of confidence right now, as his ERA sits below one. Wiggling out of that jam is something that sticks in your head for a long while. Who knew Jose Contreras would be as valuable as he’s been thus far. Don’t forget, the guy still has some starter in him; meaning if the time is right, he can go more than just three outs.
-The lineup is certainly a hot issue these days with Jimmy Rollins returning and everyone finally healthy together. My question to you was – as stated in the Phillies Nation Phancast Video yesterday – where do you put Raul Ibanez and Jimmy Rollins now?
Give us your best eight man batting order below.