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2009 Projection: Brad Lidge

Brad Lidge, RP (RHP)
Age: 32

2008: 69.1 IP / 2-0 / 1.95 ERA / 35 BB / 92 K / 41 SV / 0 BS / 1.23 WHIP

Summary: In 2008 there was no more sure thing in baseball than Brad Lidge. You can count three poor performances by Lidge in 2008 — one was a one-run deficit that turned worse, one was a larger lead that got closer, the other was the division clincher, a real nailbiter. Every other time Lidge stepped on the mound? Money. He gave up just 17 runs on 50 hits in his 69 innings. And of course, 41 times he was asked to save a baseball game. Every single solitary time, he did it. Add a couple more in the postseason. He went 48-for-48 in save opportunities in 2008.

Career Level: Prime (Year 2)

Green Flags: He’s coming off one of the great relief seasons in baseball history. … His K rate remained tremendous, recording an 11.94 K/9 (he’s among all-time leaders). … His .204 average against was his best since his great 2004 season; the number has improved each season since 2006.

Red Flags: His fastball is losing velocity each season — now at 94.3 mph from 95.4 mph in 2007. Still, his slider is losing velocity at the same rate, which offsets this problem. … Lidge’s walk rate climbed to 4.54 BB/9, his worst full-season rate in his career.

Prognostication: Will Brad Lidge be perfect again? Probably not. But as long as the slider works with the fastball, Lidge will be an elite closer. Don’t expect anything life-changing, but Lidge should have a very good season yet again.

2009 Projection:
71.2 IP / 2-2 / 2.51 ERA / 36 BB / 90 K / 43 SV / 4 BS / 1.28 WHIP

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