Bullpen a Point of Contention – Phillies Nation

Bullpen a Point of Contention

Recently, they’ve gotten healthy and are nearly at “full strength”. However, the Phillies bullpen is still not a strength – as you can tell by the sarcastic quotations – but has become a glaring weakness.

We did our midseason review of each phase of the club last week and the bullpen got many unsavory grades. Ryan Madson drew a failure and Danys Baez drew a near-failure, while Brad Lidge was mediocre at best.

Overall, while ranking them with the other teams in the National League, they haven’t been terrible. They sit in the middle of the pack in ERA (7th) and batting average against (10th), while pitching the least amount of innings in the senior circuit.

Injuries have taken their toll on the relief core, just as they have throughout the Phillies roster. Is a makeover of some sort in the works? How can they accomplish that? It won’t be easy.

Charlie Manuel has already stated that there is a need for pitching, both starters and relievers. He also stated that “Brad Lidge is our closer,” whether you want to hear that or not.

Financially, they don’t have much room to maneuver. Their quest for another bullpen arm is clearly high on the team’s to-do list, but to make it happen Ruben Amaro will need to be creative. He has time – the trade deadline is July 31 – but may want to move quickly as the bullpen has been shaky lately

Move Jayson Werth and acquire a reliever in the deal:

It’s not a certainty that Jayson Werth will be dealt; the Phils are worried that will leave them without enough pop in the order from the right side. On the other hand, if they do keep him, they risk losing him for nothing in the offseason.

If they are to make a deal, with the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox as all possible destinations preliminarily, the wise thing would be to pry a relief arm away, much the same as Texas did when grabbing Cliff Lee on Friday. They also took on injured relief pitcher Mark Lowe. He’s out right now, but they are hoping he can return in September and help them in the late innings.

A three-team trade can also accomplish this. Even though my gut says Werth stays in red pinstripes, it’s not out of the question a deal will be made. That also could mean a relief arm could be inserted in a trade.

Release/trade David Herndon, call up Scott Mathieson:

He’s ready. Scott Mathieson got a quick taste of the bigs earlier in the season and no doubt is chomping at the bit to be called up. At Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Mathieson has struck out 49 batters in 38 2/3 innings, while walking 15 and allowing 25 hits. There isn’t much more to prove at that level.

That’s unfortunate for David Herndon. He was thought to be a steal in the Rule 5 draft after a blazing spring training. His 1.65 WHIP is downright ugly here in the major league and although his ERA has dipped below four, Herndon is allowing far too many baserunners. With his Rule 5 status, he cannot be moved to the minor leagues, but allowing him to walk, or attempting to trade him, could very well be an option at some point.

Send Kyle Kendrick out there:

When J.A. Happ is deemed healthy enough to return to the major leagues, you would think he’d be placed back in the rotation. It’s not a definite, but it would be my guess. Kyle Kendrick then becomes the odd man out and is sent to the pen. That’s fine.

KK has done an adequate job as the fifth starter this season while Happ and Joe Blanton mended their injuries. In seven games out of the bullpen a year ago, Kendrick was decent, posting a 1.33 WHIP, allowing six earned in 15 innings of work. Happ has been slightly more impressive as a reliever during his career (1.28 WHIP, 3.94 ERA), but is the better starter provided his health in not an issue.

In the end it could be a toss up between these two on who goes to the outfield seats if an acquisition is not made.

Call Scott Eyre:

Eyre says he’s enjoying life away from baseball, but that could change if the Phils come calling for the stretch run. Who knows if Eyre has even picked up a baseball since the Phils let him walk of the winter, what is known is it couldn’t hurt to kick the tires again. He was a solid lefty arm, although this scenario is highly unlikely.

Do nothing and hope:

This might not be the best idea. When Chad Durbin returns from the disabled list, the Phillies will have a core group of Durbin, Contreras, Romero, Madson, and Lidge. Does that list tickle your fancy? Probably not – but those five, along with Baez, will have combined to rake in over $27 million this season. They’ll have to rely on those arms, like it or not. The question is: can they add to the party in the next month?

What do you think is the best course of action?



  1. Kennedy

    July 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I just saw Happ start vs. the SWB Yankees on Saturday. He had his strikeout stuff (he K’d 7 and could have had more), but the control just was not there totally consistently. He probably pitched better than the 3 runs, 6 hits, and 3 walks he allowed over 5 innings.

    At the same time, Eric Bruntlett bats in the 5 hole for those Yankees.

    So there isn’t any telling when Happ will be coming back. His control was off from the first batter of the game, so even a stint as a reliever could be problematic.

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  3. Beef

    July 13, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I would try P. Martinez or J. Smoltz before Erye. It actually wouldn’t surprise me to see that the Phillies talk to P. Martinez in the next week or so. I would definately send Baez down and call up Mathieson.

  4. bfo_33

    July 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

    The best thing for a pen is good starters (Phils starters are doing a nice job of going deep in games, as indicated by being used 30 less innings than the # 2 pen in innings pitched). You guys killed the pen in your reviews, but they are average at worst, and have Madsen back (rated poorly for his temper, not necessarily his stuff), as well as Durbin in the wings. Looks solid to me. As stated in the 3rd paragraph, we have a middle of the pack pen, record is pretty typical amongst contending teams (12-10, 3.83 era). Braves are much better at 19-7, 3.18, Reds much worse at 18-19, 4.45. Trade our pen for either the Braves or the Reds, and it makes the difference of less than 1 run per 9 innings. Not a huge difference. Maybe it woudl make for a few less tense moments, but not much in the W/L column.

    Relievers are unpredictable (if they were consistent, they’d either be starters or closers). Look no further than Scott Eyre – a disaster in Chicago, shutdown in Philly. For every Scott Eyre, there is a Heath Slocumb – shutdown until traded, then a disaster when moved to a contending club. For God’s sake, Arthur Rhodes is going to the All-Star games as a reliever! DId he piotch like an All-Star while in Red Pinstripes (or for that matter, while pitching against the Philsthis year, who have 5 of his 6 earned runs).

    It would be nice to have Mariano, Wagner (if he stays healthy), or Papelbon at closer, but after those 3, is there really someone out there who is a lot better than Contreras (or ideally, Lidge, if back to 2008 form)? Unless you get one of those guys, I am completely against trading a solid every day player for a reliever, let alone a guy who can carry the team for weeks, even if Werth walks after this year.

    Tweak the pen a little if needed (see if offers for Herndon or Baez, bring up Mathieson), but don’t give away anything for a bullpen arm.

  5. Bacardipr05

    July 13, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I like this Herndon guy has potential sucks we have to keep him on MLB roster or lose him. I think another year or 2 an he be a good reliever. I say look for a starter. Either way we are going to need one for next year. Dont let Lidge close in tight games bring in Contreras and ocassionally Durbin. I could be wrong i think there is no turning point for Lidge at this point. The key here will Happ be able to get it toghether by trade line. I think this will determine if RAJ goes for a reliever. Not much time here maybe 1 or 2 starts for Happ. Baez should of never been signed there where better options. Most experts caution against signing Baez. Could of been worse I guess could been stuck with Chan Ho…

  6. bfo_33

    July 13, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Chan Ho is another example of why these guys are so unpredictable – great in the pen with LA and Phi, terrible in NY.

    Completely off the subject, George Steinbrenner died this morning. A ton of plusses and minuses with the guy, but he definitely had an impact on the game, and wanted to win more than anything.

  7. Jeff

    July 13, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Good call bfo. I was going to bring it up. Shocked no article about it. Love him or hate him you have to respect what he did for the sport and the Yankees. He built a billion dollar franchise. The Yes network as well. There is and was no better owner in sports. As Sinatra said he did it his way. RIP MR. Steinbrenner.

  8. George

    July 13, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Herndon is basically a mop-up guy this year. Every team needs one, and it would be silly to send him back to his former team just to sign some other pitcher who may or may not do the job.

    It’s not these lower level arms that are the problem, but the later innings instead. If Mathieson is brought up, it would have to be as a replacement for a late inning guy, and there is no guarantee he’ll be more effective than Baez in the middle of a pennant race.

    Happ is most definitely a question mark at this point, but I think if he returns, it will be in the rotation, because he’s been pushed to go long in his rehab games. If that’s the case, Kendrick goes to the pen, and Figueroa is designated.

    The biggest problem is the back-end inconsistency. This, however, can’t be well addressed because no one is giving away closers and set-up men for a couple of months of Werth, and I doubt that Victorino would bring back an elite arm given his numbers this year. There’s always competition for available arms, so the cost is always high.

    Also, Eyre is probably not an option unless he were to sign right away, which I doubt he’ll do at a salary the Phils would pay. Even then, it’d take him at least until August to be game ready, maybe longer. Martinez is strictly a starter option, and Smoltz is a question mark given his 2009 season.

    At least Durbin will be back soon. That, in the end, may be the only addition the staff needs.

  9. Hefty Lefty

    July 13, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Let’s see if the Phillies really want to win. If you buy that crap about not having the money for relief help, then you should take a look at how packed the stadium is every night. If the Phils fail us, then we should simply not go to the games. They owe us a winner, it’s that simple and a couple of good relief pitchers is desperately needed.

  10. George

    July 13, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Hefty Lefty, there is a flaw in your thinking. You can’t just buy relief help at this time of the year, because all the best arms are the property of other teams. You have to TRADE for help, and to do so, you need something another team wants. It’s not a matter of refusing to pay an expensive salary or in your crude words “…that crap about not having the money…”

  11. Jeff

    July 13, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Your right Hefty. They have the money to spend but have a budget. I agree how packed that stadium gets. Thats why I said it would of been no problem to sign a guy like Lee for one year. If you had to get rid of Big Joe so be it. There are 50 arms in baseball that you can get that are as good as Joe. He is a 3 or 4 starter on any team. Imagine that place with Lee and Doc for one year. AMAZING.

  12. Manny

    July 13, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Label me as one who’s for the “Do nothing and hope” category. Though, I’m almost 100% sure that it’s not just hoping. Ryan Madson is as good as it gets for a set-up guy, whether people like him or not. Lidge will be the closer no matter what. We also have Contreras for the latter innings.

    Durbin is a legit 6, 7 inning guy. Herndon is decent and could be used for mop-up and Kendrick would become the long-relief guy when Happ comes back.

    Now, for JC and Baez, you gotta hope they get better (or if you really don’t trust JC anymore, get a lefty reliever –but who are you gonna kick out??). I think that’s the risky part…

    Overall, if you look at the whole picture, the roles at the pen are pretty clear… so it doesn’t worry me too much. Getting Madson back is/will be huge.

    Finally, keeping Werth to add a reliever might be one of the dumbest ideas ever if this team wants to make it to the postseason…

  13. Chuck

    July 13, 2010 at 11:51 am

    The ONLY way I see Werth being traded is if he’s able to land a legit #3 starter. Otherwise, dealing him to get a relief pitcher is DUMB, DUMB, DUMB.

  14. TBOH

    July 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

    As somebody with a rash of hives slowly spreading from his ankle up to his knee, I can say there is almost no wisdom in “Do nothing and hope.”

  15. psujoe

    July 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Durbin pitched 2 solid innings last night. Bastardo pitched an inning as well. So there’s no need for another so so body. A guy like Downs would help, but I don’t see the Phillies trading away enough prospects to land him.

    Herndon, hmmm. I’d hate to see him just let go because he’s a cheap arm with some decent potential.

    Downs or hold.


    July 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I would like to see if the phillies can some how move blanton,maybe him and say herndon for a good starter.there is no way we trade werth unless someone blows us away with a offer or we get to far behind in the standings.I wish they could move raul,but that might be impossible…..As always stay positive,and GO PHILLIES!!!!!!!!

  17. Heather

    July 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    We should be able to get much more than a reliever for Werth. Even Heath Bell, for example, is worth a lot less than Werth. We’d have to get a decent starting and relief pitcher to even think about the deal.

  18. The Second John

    July 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Am I the only person that thinks that Pedro Martinez would help?

  19. Manny

    July 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Downs or hold.

    I like that.

  20. The Second John

    July 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    The only problem with trading Werth for a reliever is that why would a team like the Blue Jays, and the Padres(if they become sellers) is that why would they want a guy who’s going to test free agency after this year.

  21. Pat Gallen

    July 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I’m not saying trade Werth for a reliever straight up. That would be moronic. If you are going to deal him, make sure you pry away a decent bullpen arm.

  22. Hefty Lefty

    July 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    With respect to the departed GEORGE STEINBRENNER — if he owned the Phillies and they needed bullpen help, what would he do? I did not like George, but I respect the fact that he really wanted to win, more so than simply turn a profit. As a result, he has the highest valued property in professional sports. The value of the Phils increases with winners as well. Tell that to the board of directors, who are indeed owners. Our bullpen problems should have been solved in the off season. Many of you knew that was our achilles heel. We did little except for Contrares and Baez.

  23. Don M

    July 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I might have missed this earlier in the post .. but say we offer Herndon back to the Angels …

    They would need to keep him on their MLB roster, right?

    and if not, we would get the chance to sign him to a minor league deal before any other teams could get him??

  24. bfo_33

    July 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    To trade Werth for a reliever + decent prospect, you need a team with:
    – Money
    – Hope for this year (within 7 games of a wild card)
    – Needs an outfielder, rhb, really bad
    – Has a good bullpen
    – Other prospects
    – Really dumb GM (if don’t have 4 of the above 5)

    Boston comes the closest, but they also have one of the worst bullpens in the league (4th worst era in mlb). Bard, Richardson, and Papelbon are their only relievers with more than 10 ip, under 4.5 era. They have no one to spare.

    In addition, not making a trade isn’t doing nothing. Madsen is back, Durbin back soon. Bastardo, Mathieson, and Happ/KK are other options. The pen really isn’t killing us, it’s just not shutdown. I wouldn’t move Werth until we see what happens with PP – if he doesn’t have a solid return, we really need an infielder more than pen help. Agree to some extent in theory, but in practice, there isn’t a trade partner out there.

  25. The Second John

    July 13, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    C’mon, the Phills have the 4 highest payroll in MLB. Calling them cheap is ridiculous. You can’t compare New York to Philadelphia. New York is much bigger market than Philly.

  26. Don M

    July 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    “Our bullpen problems should have been solved in the off season. Many of you knew that was our achilles heel. We did little except for Contrares and Baez.”

    Between Lidge, Madson, Romero, Contrares, and Baez … that is a lot of guys with the ability to close games, having all proved it before in their careers

    They also knew that Mathieson had the chance to rebound this year, and his potential labels him with closer-of-the-future type stuff

    They weren’t going to sign another “closer” to the tune of $10-12M per season.. so I think that if our bullpen gets back and healthy .. and we get defined roles from these guys, I think we’ll be in alright shape ..

    I’ve said before though, I would like to see Contreras as the Closer from this point-on .. Lidge scares the hell out of me (and I was in his corner until the blown save last week on the double by Miguel Cairo) .. Madson for some reason is a GREAT setup man, but doesn’t have the ability to throw the same in the 9th as he does in the 8th ..

    Herndon, Durbin, Baez, … I’d like to see Herndon stay becuse I think he’s been good lately.. Durbin can throw 2 innings, and is better than we give him credit for .. and Baez has shown signs of improvement lately too .. Lidge is the question mark

  27. Don M

    July 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    From what i’m hearing, the Boston clubhouse isn’t a big fan of Jacoby Ellsbury …. (but he’s a Boras client I think)

    but it would be nice to have a true leadoff hitter here ..

    I think Boston is Werth’s most likely destination as a Free Agent, to bring Big Papi back it would cost them like $12 M .. but they could have JD Drew DH, and have Werth as their RF next year ..

    Ellsbury bats Lefty though, but with him and Brown in the OF it would be crazy-fast … (And im thinking that Victorino is the only player who can bring us back Dan Haren, but it looks like he is staying in Arz.. so disregard this entire post…I was daydreaming)

  28. Pat Gallen

    July 13, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Don M, I dont believe the Angels would have to keep him on the MLB roster.

  29. Chuck

    July 13, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Wonder what Ellsbury did to ruffle feathers in the clubhouse??

  30. Hefty Lefty

    July 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    One solid lefty reliever and we would be in much better shape. One exists in Toronto. Are we at least looking there?

  31. Don M

    July 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm


    if they dont keep him, we get to sign him to a minor league deal, right (as was the case with our keeping Victorino in Rule 5 a few years ago?)

    Ellsbury, instead of rehabbing with the team … went to Arizona, or somewhere, to do his own stuff .. and i believe he and his agent have publicly stated a few times the Red Sox staff misdiagnosed him twice, and gave him further setbacks … and then last week I read that Youkilis said something about how players on the roster should be with their teammates and cheering them on, instead of doing things on their own …

    I just threw this out there because I think the RedSox have multiple high OF prospects? … and it looks like Werth (if he gets anything around the $12-16 M range) will be limited between Phillies, Yanks, RedSox, Angels, Dodgers, and the Chicago teams … team with extra money to bid on a RF

    I think the RedSox or Angels are his likely destination (but just read today the Angels like Craford…but have read for 2 years that the Yankees are without-a-doubt targeting Crawford as their #1 Free Agent when he becomes available)

  32. bfo_33

    July 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    The Boston stat faction doesn’t like Ellsbury, because while he is crazy fast, he isn’t a good centerfielder (the reason they signed Cameron). He is also very streaky at the plate, poor plate discipline – in other words, similar to Shane Victorino (better BA, less power, worse defensive cf). Youk is a gamer, but he’s a jerk.

    By the way, did you notice who was in uniform in the dugout throughout the whole Reds series? Chase Utley, a guy who isn’t going to see playing time for at least 4 more weeks (although I believe if you are on the bench, you have to be in uniform – but he was there following the game with his teammates).

  33. Hefty Lefty

    July 13, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Left handed relief pitcher Scott Downs…Toronto Blue Jays. He would work well with the Phils

  34. Brooks

    July 13, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Look at 07′. Remember that Madson was hurt early on and saw plenty of action in the second half, rested and plenty of fire. So, as much of an ass for hurting himself, he might be our best and strongest pitcher out of the pen for the second half.

    You have to seriously discuss getting all those cortisone shots as Lidge has. His arm will eventually give out. Extending his prowess at this point is almost counter productive.

    I like Contreras as being an option to shut the door. 1 inning, slam! Other than that, I would definitely like to see Mathiason again, Baez being left out.

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  36. Trevor

    July 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    If they would just DFA Baez and bring up Mathieson I wouldn’t see a huge need to do anything else. Having a good lefty would be nice though since JC is awful.

  37. Heather

    July 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Very few general managers will admit they made a mistake in giving a multiyear contract to a player only .5 years into that contract.

    There is nothing I have seen from RAJ that he would buck that general trend.

    Therefore, don’t expect Baez to be canned anytime soon.

  38. Brooks

    July 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    BTW any ideas as to when the starters for the Cubs series will be out?
    You would think – Moyer, Kendrick, Blanton, Doc then Hamels – but, Cholly has been making sure that Doc gets more starts than anyone so he is prone to switch it up (although I dont see how after he pitches some AS innings).


  39. Don M

    July 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Baez doesn’t deserved to be canned either …. he’s got lots of room-for-improvement , but they’ll keep Baez, and his experience, over Figgy, Herndon, or Mathieson … without a doubt in my mind

  40. Chuck

    July 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    To me, Contreras is the best option for closer right now. He scrares me the least. But Lidge will probably continue to get his share of chances…..as long as he continues to do what he did on Sunday.

  41. Trevor

    July 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I don’t think they’ll can Baez either but I don’t really see room for improvement. He’s been steadily declining for years.

  42. Don M

    July 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I think they announced:

    Moyer, Blanton, Hamels, Halladay as the rotation for the first 4 games

    (so Halladay will pitch against Cubs and Rockies, but get skipped in the Cardinals series)

  43. Don M

    July 13, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The problem is… I think they look at Lidge and say, “as long as he can do what he did on Sunday”

    but they need to say “what about if he does what he did on Thursday”

    It’s a shame that Madson, mentally, just can’t handle that role

    and I don’t think they’ll actually take Lidge out of the Closer’s role, so like last year, we go with what we’ve got …

  44. Heather

    July 13, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Don: I don’t think they look at Lidge and assume he’ll do well per se, I think it’s a combination of a few things:

    1) Lidge’s contract and the fact the FO would have to admit the contract was a mistake (and/or get someone to eat the contract)

    2) The lack of trading chips/payroll to get another closer

    3) The fact that Madson, Contreras, et al. are not OBVIOUSLY better upgrades

  45. SJHaack

    July 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    “If they would just DFA Baez and bring up Mathieson I wouldn’t see a huge need to do anything else. Having a good lefty would be nice though since JC is awful.”

    God wouldn’t that be wonderful? Bring up Mathieson, get rid of Baez, pitch Herndon more and Romero never.

    Herndon is NOT a bad pitcher (Baez is a bad pitcher). He’s thrown 58% ground balls, a low line drive rate, and hasn’t allowed a home run, but a .367 BABIP. Part of that is luck, and part of it is having people who are far worse defensively than Polanco, Rollins, and Utley taking what feels like half the innings in their place.

    Pitch Herndon more, not less!

  46. The Second John

    July 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Lidge still isn’t back. You could see that on Sunday, even though he got the save. His fastball command is still terrible. He missed with it a lot, especially that last pitch to Miguel Cairo, when he threw one right down the middle.

  47. SJHaack

    July 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    “It’s a shame that Madson, mentally, just can’t handle that role”

    Don’t even start. His numbers are BETTER as a closer/in the 9th than his already good set up man numbers.

    And I don’t mean advanced stats someone will get mad at me for. I mean ERA.

  48. Chuck

    July 13, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    That’s the problem. The Phillies look at Lidge’s performance on Sunday and they forget about Thursday’s debacle and all the other bad outings. It’s like they get lulled into a false sense of security.

    Madson CANNOT handle that closer role. We’ve been through this before. Yeah, it’s a shame. But just leave him where he is.

  49. Phan in the outfield

    July 13, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Oh God the whole Lidge thing, please. Seriously, my heart when he starts toward the field, scares the crap out of me. Honestly none of the others scare me as much. Maybe they just make me angry. And I guess Contreras, though he’s not necessarily consistent is the most – boy I hate to use this word – reliable. When the heck is Durbin back? Jeeze.

    Not sure I understand why the Yankees need an outfielder, neverthless, as Don said from what I’ve been hearing since ST they’ve had their hearts set on Crawford. I don’t think the Red Sox seriously want Werth. And given the choice I doubt Werth would go from a really good clubhouse like this to a bad clubhouse like that.

    Maybe Victorino isn’t hugely valuable alone but packaged with someone else – he would be? I don’t know. I’m bad at this. Normally I can’t wait for July to be over.

    I’m with Chuck: dumb to trade Werth. Dumb. I’m not sure I understand why we don’t try to keep him, especially now, cheaply. IF… keeping Werth is based on getting rid of Ibanez (w/Brown in LF or platooned w/Francisco) … then maybe they’ve explored the avenues to get rid of Ibanez, and it’s impossible. In that case, the anchor belongs around RAJ’s neck.

  50. Hefty Lefty

    July 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Lidge is living on his 2008 performance. He is far from that now. It’s a shame that Cholly is so loyal to him. Lidge really can hurt this team. We will see what the second half brings, but don’t expect 2008 or anything close to it.

  51. Bob

    July 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    What dont some understand that Charlie has no choice but to be loyal to Lidge?

    We’ve seen Madson be a disaster and do you really feel better about anyone else in that role right now?

    Combinations like Sunday (Romero vs LH, then Lidge v RH) dicated by matchups will be the best course of action. Lidge makes 12 million (?) dollars, you can not just cut that out. I’m worn thin on the blown saves but that is too explosive an arm to just shut down, especially when he is on.

    People are quick to point out faults but give credit when it’s due and the Phillies dont win Saturday without Lidge getting out of that inning, as shaky as it was.

  52. Don M

    July 13, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I think we all realize that … but the question is: regardless of salary, who does everyone think would be our best option at closing out games?

    I think its Contreras

    But I also think that Ibanez is the better choice for LF instead of Brown, so im not just talking change-for-changes sake

  53. The Original Chuck P

    July 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    I said this yesterday… our bullpen is deep but not lights out by any stretch. Teams aren’t likely to put crooked numbers up against our bullpen but as long as we’re relying on Lidge, Contreras and Madson to seal the deal, we should be prepared with plenty of dramamine. Durbin, Contreras, Madson and Lidge are ok with Romero as a lefty specialist. Baez and Figgy/Herndon are capable. We won three games in the final series of the first half in extra innings… you don’t do that without some depth in your pen. Hopefully, they can get Lidge a handful or easy saves… hopefully, he gets his head out of his arse.

    I like Ellsbury. CBP is an easy place to play CF (especially when you’ve got Jayson Werth in RF). I’ve said this for a while- Vic is replaceable. I like what he does but his skill set is replaceable.

  54. Phan in the outfield

    July 13, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I was really liking Durbin before he left, but I guess technically he isn’t a “closer”, right. So I guess yes, Contreras is it even though he’s had a couple iffy games. And yes, Lidge got us out of Sat’s game. But judging by the boos (which I’m on record as disliking) I guess I’m not the only one who remembers the games he tanked too.

    I’m with you Don. I’ve already said I’m not all-fired certain Brown should be brought up now, now, now and platzed somewhere – anywhere in the OF so we can use him in the line up. Why do I feel as though we’re in the minority with this? Phillies fans are just insane over this guy. The minors to majors transition isn’t always smooth. I like our OF a lot, but as Original Chuck P said above, though I like Victorino I have never felt as if his skills were not replaceable. His arm just isn’t so great. He’s fast and he gets to hits quickly (Reds games recently). But he has trouble throwing accurately & far. I feel like he has a good enough rep to be able to trade him for prob more than he’s actually worth.

  55. Brooks

    July 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I’m not sure what the love affair over Herndon is. True, he has not given up a HR yet this year but in 30.1 IP, he has allowed 42 hits and walked 8 batters. That is an astounding 1.7 runners per inning pitched. If or when he starts giving up HRS, his 3.87 ERA will sky rocket.

  56. The Dipsy

    July 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Brooks, agreed that WHIP is high on Herndon but on the other hand he will not give up homers because he is a sinker ball pitcher. I still say Scott Eyre is coming back but if not I think we need to get another lefty somewhere. Its great to have that extra lefty in the pen. Don’t rule out Happ going to the pen when, and if, he comes back.

    The Dipsy

  57. Jeff

    July 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Bullpen is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get. one year good, one year bad. madson will help alot. getting back durbin is big. we will be fine.


    July 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Brooks i believe it is moyer thursday,kendrick,blanton and then roy on sunday……….


    July 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    brooks change that to blanton,hamels,then roy after jamie on thursday…..sry about that……..

  60. Manny

    July 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm


  61. George

    July 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Saturday’s game indicated to me that Manuel is also just a little leery of Lidge. He had Romero pitch to the left hander, and that would never have happened in ’08. I think we’ll see more of this kind of thing in the future; I even think some games might be closed by Contreras, at least until Lidge improves his command and pitch selection.

    No one likes “bullpen by committee,” but sometimes it’s necessary to go that route, and sometimes it actually works.

  62. George

    July 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Excuse me, I meant Sunday’s game.

  63. Papa Thompson

    July 13, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    To me, Figgy’s been way more valuable to this team than Herndon has, and if it came down to a decision between those two guys for a roster spot, I’d take Figgy. I don’t really expect to see Baez moved, considering what they’re paying him, and that he’s signed on for next year.

    And since when is Romero expendable? Granted, he generally lacks command, but he also generally strikes people out because they can’t hit him.

    I’m actually feeling OK about the bullpen overall, and wouldn’t want to see us hurt ourselves trying to make moves for bullpen help.

    Lidge didn’t have good stuff his last couple times out — but in one case he still wiggled out of things despite that, and that’s a positive. Plus, he HAS had good stuff in a lot of his outings — and that’s something I really couldn’t say at all last year. Madson’s been near-electric since returning. Contreras has been solid and KK might be able to help out. I’m still wondering if Zagurski isn’t the LHr we’re looking for. He was part of that meltdown in Pittsburgh, but he did a good job other than that, I thought.

  64. Brooks

    July 13, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    All this talk about the BP – if our offense did not feign dead and we scored at least 3 runs per game, the Phils record would likely be 53-34 and we would be on top of our division.

    It’s the Offense keeping us down. Although great wins vs the Reds in the last series, it was also a joke in futility that nobody looked like they wanted the win – hits for the Phils were a scarcity.

    We need the O to come alive, period end of story.

  65. Brian Sr. of CO

    July 13, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Lidge still the closer. UGH, invest in Tums I suppose. He just doesnt have it consistanly anymore. You never know what you are going to get. Herndon…Well I dont know, I dont have much of a strong opinion either way. Many say he sucks, some say he’s “OK”. The one I say GET RID OF HIM about it, is Baez.

    HOWEVER, Brooks is 100% correct. What has the Bullpen lost, 5 or 6 games? What has the offense lost, 10 or 11 games probably more? 9 of which I dont recall who started, but seeing how the Phillies were shut out 9 times so far (PATHETIC) those were offense, maybe the pitching didnt help on some of them. However, I can think of about 4 or 5 of Halladays loses were ALL OFFENSE, at least 2-3 of Moyers losses, ALL OFFENSE…Blanton…probably all Blanton sadly. Kendrick, probably 1 of his losses was ALL OFFENSE. Hamels, I think the Offense is to blame for what 4 of his losses?

    True the Bullpen is a problem and I do recall the one reds game when the offense gave the bullpen something like a 6 or 9 run lead, and they blew it, and honestly I sometimes say, “no lead is safe” with the Phillies Bullpen. But who cares if your offense is so anemic that it gets shut out 9 times (sounds like “Ferris Buellers Day Off”, LOL)! The offense MUST come alive. A bad bullpen will only come to light on a consistant basis, if they consistantly lose games, but since the Phillies lose because of the Offense more than the bullpen, no one outside of the Phans, who actually have a clue talk about the bullpen.

    I see the Bullpen as piss poor because of some of the players… Herndon and Baez.

    I see the Offense as piss poor overall so far, some because of injury, but one must question the coaching of the offense and hitters if they have been shut out 9 times, nearly no-hit twice, and nearly a perfect game one. consistantly swinging at balls WAY out of the strike zone, only one hitter in the line up now (not on the DL) is hitting over .285 I believe, and thats Howard. The offense must STOP swinging at first pitch on a consitant basis. Stop swinging at comeplete crap, and must get used to seeing breaking balls. Even Howard is horrible about the breaking ball thing. True he won the game in the 10th the other day on a breaking ball, but that is not often. I often wonder why on earth would any pitcher give Ryan Howard a fast ball? On many days, you throw all Breaking Balls to Howard, Werth, Ibanez at the very least, and its a guaranteed strike out. Sometimes they get it, and get a hit, or at least make contact, but the strikeouts are adding up. Not to Diamondback levels, but still not great. I can think of at least 2 games without even researching that if one of those 3 players made contact instead of striking out, they might have won the game, because the player on 3rd might have scored. Whether is was a grounder, or a deep pop SAC fly. The hitters MUST at least make contact.

  66. Pingback: Where Can I Find Additional Information on Day Trading - Day Trading Reloaded

  67. Brooks

    July 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I hear ya Brian – men on second or third (both at least one time) with nobody out and no score. All we needed was contact and we got a strike out.
    It has been really hard to watch.

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