ESPNews reports the Philadelphia Phillies placed closer Brad Lidge (knee) on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, June 9, with a sprained right knee. The move is retroactive to June 7.
In a related move the team recalled catcher Paul Bako from the minors.
Lidge has struggled this season after he was perfect in 41 save chances last year. In 2009 he is 0-3 with 13 saves and a 7.27 ERA in 28 relief outings. Lidge has also blown six of his 19 chances this year.
Lidge's poor performance traces back to the end of April, when he first revealed that he had some inflammation in his knee. The pain in his knee led to mechanical issues, further affecting his ability to close out games for the defending world champions.
Lidge's trip to the DL gives relief pitcher Ryan Madson a shot at the ninth-inning duties in the near future.
Madson has been a solid eighth-inning bridge to Lidge this year, posting a 2.22 ERA with two saves and 13 holds. He also has 31 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings to go along with a WHIP of 1.06.
Fantasy owners of Lidge should place him on a DL spot and hope his knee injury does not linger for the rest of the season. However, there could be cause for concern, as he was twice removed from the closer role with the Houston Astros before he had joined the Phillies last season.
It's speculative, but if the transaction is a mask designed to give Lidge a break, it's difficult to tell how he'll react. He has always seemed to have more trouble with the mental side of the game; manager Charlie Manuel has expressed a desire to avoid removing Lidge because it might make the problem worse.
Madson should be picked up immediately if he is available on the waiver wire in your league. He is expected to receive the save opportunities in Lidge's absence, minus a day off on occasion. With no timetable and considering Lidge's past struggles, there's no telling how long Madson will hold the role.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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