Monday, May 25, 2009

Brad Lidge Really Pisses Me Off

Brad Lidge is currently the worst closer in Major League Baseball. Yesterday I pointed out that he wouldn't be the closer if not for his increasingly suspect contract extension of 3 yrs $37.5M. Today I'll tell you why we should all be worried. This isn't the "Mr. Perfect" 48 saves in 48 opportunities Brad Lidge of 2008. This is the return of the outcast from Houston Brad Lidge of 2006/2007. That's the Brad Lidge that was demoted/promoted/demoted/etc. from the closer's role. He gave up 19 homeruns in those two seasons combined, and has surrendered 6 this season. However, even in 06/07, he was able to control his pitches and not give up tons of base hits, but that's far from the case here in 2009. Lidge has walked 12 batters in only 19.2 innings, while putting the ball on the tee for 29 hits.

The Phils literally can't afford to demote him. They're already paying Thome, Eaton, and Jenkins not to play for them, and are strapped with a foolish Moyer contract, so demoting a $12M per year closer to setup man with the chance of him turning into a basketcase is unwise. Guess they'll just have to keep running him out there and hope he figures it out. Until then, expect low win totals from our starting pitchers due to his blowing of saves.

MLB Closers Ranks:
4 Blown Saves- last
9.15 ERA- last
2.08 WHIP- last

How the hell are the Phillies actually in 1st place in the NL East with Lidge at closer and pitchers like Blanton, Moyer, and just demoted Ho Park making starts?



GM-Carson said...

I don't hate Brad Lidge. I just can't believe how horrible he's been this season. I'm not looking for perfection like last year, but any other reliever pitching this poorly wouldn't only be taken out of their role, they'd likely be sent to the minors. Lidge to the minors doesn't make sense, and like I mentioned in the post removing him from his closer's role is dangerous from a mental standpoint. What to do?

GM-Carson said...

More on why Lidge's contract has him in the closer's role. They have a 3 year $37.5M contract with Lidge and that basically forces them to keep Lidge in the closer's role. If it were only a 1 year deal, they may be thinking about pulling the plug on him, but since he's around 2 more years after this, they're stuck with him, and need him to return to a reliable closer. If they demote him to mop-up duty, or even set-up, they risk shattering his confidence, and essentially have an overpriced trash reliever. They need to let him work through this so they can get their money's worth out of him in the long haul. If this were 2008 and Lidge started off like this, the Phils would be trying others at closer already.

LORENZO said...

The lights are on, and no one's much for Lights Out! Should we give him the nickname Flash now? Instead of Soldiers, they can play that old Queen song like they did for Gordon.

Anonymous said...

I will never hate Lidge for what he helped the team accomplish last season. That being said, I really think that the knee is more of a problem then what is being let on. I don't know if it is pain or the insoles that he is using to help the pain that is throwing him off, but I really think they need to shut him down until his knee is back to 100%. Maybe they are trying to hold off until JC Romero returns from exile before making a move. That would give Lidge a little over a week to get his act together.

Dr. Steve said...

I think he will go on the DL once Romero comes back. I don't think they want to stretch their bullpen and just hope he can get some wins.

Of course, him also blowing saves doesn't help the bullpen at all.

furiousBall said...

there's something wrong physically, has to be

Corey said...

re: "if they demote him to mop-up duty, or even set-up, they risk shattering his confidence, and essentially have an overpriced trash reliever."

the assumption that a move to something other than the closer's role would "shatter" his confidence is a big one to make.moreover, i don't see how continuing to put him out there blowing saves improves his confidence. i guess lidge could feel empowered that his manager still thinks he can get the job done, but at this point, i doubt he has confidence in himself.

a temporary switch to a bullpen role other than closing is what is called for (if he isn't hurt.) some success in reduced pressure situations may be enough to regain confidence, if that is the issue. if it is an injury issue, that is different.

i don't think lidge has "lost it." he has problems right now for sure, but not insurmountable ones. he's throwing the ball with good velocity, he just can't locate worth shit. and if his knee is fine, which we have to assume to make this conversation at all relevant, the majority of his problem lies in his head. you can't fix that in AAA. and you surely can't fix it in yankeee stadium, up one run, in the ninth, the day after a blown save. WTF was charlie thinking?

a $37 million commitment means the phillies need to fix him, not placate his ego. move him to a setup/7th inning role for awhile and stop trying to have him work out his problems holding one run leads in the ninth.

GM-Carson said...

The velocity is there, the location isn't. From all accounts it seems he's healthy. Bottom line, he needs to improve. I just can't see the Phils dropping him from the closer job unless he completely bottoms out and blows like another 4-5 saves in June.

Dan said...

goddamn wes helms, that was BS. He was struck out there on 2-2. MLB umpires are incompetent to the point where they are beginning to enter the NBA referee conversation.

Aaron said...

Wes F'ing Helms? Really?

Reverend Paul Revere said...

His contract should not be the reason to keep trotting him out there. With Madson clearly stepping up with closer-like stuff and Romero coming back, the Phils should put Lidge on the 15-day DL, using his knee as an excuse, to clear his head and find his command.

If he gets it back, put him back as closer. If not, the 7th/8th is still there. Dude sucks right now.

speener said...

For as much as Lidge proved to everyone concerned that he is rightfully one of the top closers in baseball, he deserves our patience. We haven't even reached June yet and here we are relegating him to the junk heap.

Yes he has been horrible - and if he continues to pitch like this through June/July, then get pissed, otherwise chill.