Monday, December 21, 2009
Brad Lidge 2010: Phillies Closer?
When I typed the title for this write-up, I initially typed "Bad Lidge" by accident. That would have been a pretty good description for Brad Lidge in 2009, but there's a reasonable chance to expect better things in 2010. In 2009, something was clearly wrong with Lidge...both his strikeout rate and walk rate were worse than they've been in previous years...much worse, in the case of the strikeout rate, which was 9.36, compared to rates over 11 for each of the previous five years. That said, Lidge's pitching was nowhere near as bad as his 7.21 ERA would indicate...he had a healthy dose of bad luck, and as a reliever he never got the chance to pitch enough innings to pretty up the numbers. Lidge had surgery during the offseason, and may be a week or two behind in Spring Training. That said, the Phillies GM has been quoted as saying that the team hopes he'll be ready to close by Opening Day. As long as he's given a shot at closing, Lidge should be another nice high risk/high reward player to pick up in the late rounds. But given questions about his health, effectiveness, and role, you definitely should pick him too early in your draft!