Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lidge: Nats "can make a playoff run"



Brad Lidge spent the last four seasons watching his Phillies beat up the Nationals. All of a sudden, the veteran reliever is on the other side of the equation, and he believes his new employer could be on the verge of supplanting his former club atop the NL East.

"I'm definitely excited for the new opportunity and playing for the Nationals," Lidge told CSNphilly.com's Jim Salisbury today after agreeing to a one-year, $1 million contract. "They have outstanding potential. I really think we can make a playoff run."

Though the 35-year-old has made his mark in the big leagues as a premier closer, he'll take on a much different role in Washington. General manager Mike Rizzo said Lidge will be used as a set-up man, helping bridge the gap between the Nationals' starting rotation and late relievers Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen.

"Drew Storen's our closer; Tyler Clippard's our setup guy," Rizzo said this afternoon during an interview at Nationals Park. "But Brad Lidge will get a lot of innings, a lot of important innings, a lot of high-leverage innings. And I think he'll handle them perfectly."

Arm injuries limited Lidge to only 25 games last season in Philadelphia, but when healthy following the All-Star break he posted a 1.40 ERA while striking out 23 batters in 19 1 1/3 innings.

Rizzo said Lidge had an enhanced MRI taken of his right shoulder prior to signing this contract, which includes incentives for games pitched and finished.

"The doctors signed off on it," the GM said. "They say his shoulder is strong. He's healthy. He feels great. He's in great shape and coming in here with a great attitude and ready to prove to the baseball world he's got a lot left in the tank and he's ready to help us win games."

The Nationals view Lidge not only as another potentially reliable arm in an already-deep bullpen but also as a mentor for Storen and the club's other young relievers.

"Who better to teach the Drew Storens and the Tyler Clippards and the Henry Rodriguezes of the world how to close games in pressure situations and in a pressure ballpark than Brad Lidge?" Rizzo said. "Combine that with character, makeup, clubhouse presence and ability to get hitters out, we felt it was a good fit for us at this time."

Lidge had hoped as recently as last week to re-sign with the Phillies, but upon learning from GM Ruben Amaro he was no longer in the team's plans quickly turned his attention to a Nationals organization itching to leapfrog its division rival.

"I understand," he told CSNphilly.com. "People change their mind. They signed some other free agents. Sometimes you have to turn the page."

45 comments:

Gbomb said...

I like it. Low risk high upside. Why not

baseballswami said...

I think he will end up finishing a lot of games that are non-closer situations -- we're way ahead, we're losing, Clip and Store have pitched too many days in a row, etc. I really think we will see him in 7, 8 and 9 this season -- and even finishing a sixth for somebody that is crashing. Drew really admires him and so maybe Lidge can keep him steady WHEN we get into the post season THIS YEAR.

NatsLady said...

Revenge is sweet, Mr. Lidge. May it be yours!!!

Anonymous said...

Man, I was just hoping for Mike Gonzalez, Dan Wheeler type reliever, but Lidge-signing is definitely unexpected and pleasant surprise. From this interview, you can tell, he has some grudge against the Phillies now. Even better. Seeing him shut down the Philles should be a sweet thing to watch. One "hairy-chested" bench player to go!

gonatsgo said...

I liked Gio a lot at the press conference yesterday and I think the fans will like him pretty quickly. However - I really took a while to warm up to Jayson Werth - he was just a Philly in my mind and I had painful memories of him humiliating us. Gio I have no emotional history with. Phillies - well, it takes me some time to see them as Nats. It just takes me longer to accept players that were the enemy as opposed to pitchers from far away lands. I am not at all opposed to this signing - it's just harder to flip the mental switch and start liking these guys and wanting them to do well.

NatsNut said...

Something awful just occurred to me in the midst of my daydreaming. I don't think Nationals Ballpark operations are ready for the big crowds that come with the exciting season I foresee. 25K people pushes the threshold of any kind of pleasant experience, for lines, food, entrance and exit, everything. Man I hope those concession and operations people are paying attention to what's happening to this team and are ramping up their game, so to speak.

no lie, captcha was finom.

Anonymous said...

I hate to bring in another ex-Phillie into the conversation, but how about Pat Burrell as the bench/back up outfielder option? He can still hit for power with high OBP. Just a thought.

natsfan1a said...

gng, I rooted for the Astros in the 2005 postseason, so I'll just be glossing over that whole Phillies period and welcoming Lidge. :-)

natsfan1a said...

NN, ya, that'll stink. OTOH, it would be awesome to take back the house from invading Phillies Phans.

Gonat said...

Brandon Inge of the Tigers found out thru the media that he was being replaced at 3rd by Miguel Cabrera.

Gonat said...

Gbomb said...
I like it. Low risk high upside. Why not

January 26, 2012 6:20 PM
___________________________

No, low risk high reward x 2

Positively Half St. said...

On Pat Burrell- I thought of that and dismissed it earlier, but perhaps I was hasty. My thought was that he is essentially done, but maybe that is just as a starter. It does not appear that there are many great choices left.

+1/2St.

Anonymous said...

The better the bullpen the more they can limit Strasburg to six innings to pitch into the Fall.

Vlad comes home as super pinch hitter and feared bat off bench. Buy him a first basemen mitt.

Feel Wood said...

I believe Pat Burrell has retired. Dmitri Young OTOH has slimmed down and is tanned, rested and ready to play. Sign him to a minor league deal and let him compete in spring training for the 25th man big bat off the bench position. Dude can probably still roll out of bed and hit, so there is absolutely nothing to lose here.

rogieshan said...

Love this signing. Should Lidge regain his stellar form and the team finds itself still lacking in center field/leadoff position, Rizzo can parlay his abundant assets in the bullpen for the missing piece. After all, did he not consider swapping Storen for Spahn of the Twins just last summer?

Dave said...

I think we're waiting to see who signs Cespedes. If it's the Cubs, I think we get Byrd for a song: if Miami then I think we try to pick up Bonifacio or Bryan Petersen.

Theophilus said...

Dave -- Do you think the world began last year? Two of the three you want to pick up have already been run out of this town for being unmanageable knuckleheads. Byrd wouldn't take hitting advice from Frank Robinson; Bonafacio wouldn't stay on first when he was told not to steal. You really want that?

MicheleS said...

Anybody else jealous of Mark being at the Park today??? I would love to take a run around the bases...sigh.. the clock isn't moving fast enough

Gonat said...

Hilarious, Bryce Harper just did a Twitter Q&A chat when he was at the airport. Some funny stuff!

Positively Half St. said...

Mark's tweet about the Nats having the top farm system in BA's Prospect Handbook (to press before the Gio trade) made me very happy. It also made me interested in following the A's a bit this year. I found out that the A's are having a FanFest this year (yes, one of the most pathetic teams in the majors for this year has one, we don't). Among the players attending will be tommy Milone and Brad Peacock. That is telling, because the absence of Derek Norris indicates that they are not so desperate as to start him in Oakland to start the year.

+1/2St.

NatsFanJim said...

I am impressed. Lidge makes a good bullpen an excellent bull pen. This could mean several games alone in the standings. Can't wait for spring training.

N. Cognito said...

natsfan1a said...
"...it would be awesome to take back the house from invading Phillies Phans."

The Buses Are Coming the Buses Are Coming.
"Egermency, egermency, everybody to get from street."

Mark your calendars. May 5th. Get your tickets.
Take back our ballpark!

Drew said...

cintron -- VERB -- to get booted from the major league roster in May.

Used in a sentence:

I sure hope Lidge won't cintron.

(Let's set the over-under at July 27, the date Matt Stairs was DFA. Tick, tick, tick, tick....)

MicheleS said...

NCog.. I will be at that Game!! part of the Teddy Plan..

Drew that's not nice.. we haven't even seen Lidge pitch yet....So I go over..

JaneB said...

Theo -- Frank was old school. I think Marlon could still be good for us. Or somebody. You had to do it Frank's way or else. Davey is a lot less like that. And Marlon blossomed when he was playing in a clubhouse that was looser.

Drew said...

Michele:

I said I HOPE he won't cintron.

OK, let's look on the bright side. He might cabrera, which Merriam-Webster defines as:

VERB -- To last six days longer than Alex Cintron.

Unkyd said...

Negavibes, Drew..... We're keeping our eyes on you....... ;-)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Beats getting pattersoned.
Not to mention chiefed.


captcha: tushe.

What you sit around on after all the above.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Which reminds me: any early nominations for who gets pattersoned this spring? Or is it too early?


whoa, capcha is "whogy" -- so I'm thinking it's going to be a relief pitcher...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Theo -- Frank was old school. I think Marlon could still be good for us. Or somebody. You had to do it Frank's way or else. Davey is a lot less like that. And Marlon blossomed when he was playing in a clubhouse that was looser.


Seriously, Marlon is famously a model citizen. Probably past is CF due date, but I always liked the guy.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

past *his

Gonat said...

Top Prospect Adrian Cardenas is designated by the A's. Cardenas was once a top Phillies prospect who was traded to Oakland and never lived up to his top prospect status.

http://www.huliq.com/64391/joe-blanton-traded-phillies-adrian-cardenas-josh-outman-and-matt-spencer

Mark'd said...

Does anyone remember the last time the Phillies traded a player who turned out to be any good?

Maybe JA Happ?

They have made lots of trades: Halladay, Lee from Indians, Oswalt, Pence, Blanton

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sec3, NO MARLON. The name of your future CF for years to come is BJ Upton. Get used to it.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I said I liked the guy. I didn't say I wanted to hire him.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

But while we're on the subject, the Pirates may be have a CF blocked in the minors.

Dave said...

Hey, N. Cognito, I remember that movie! (Alan Arkin, Soviet submarines come to a small New England town...)

This is my once-every-two-days checking in. I like the Lidge deal and feel pretty good about the Nats's pitching. Very, very eager to see a bit more slammage in the hitting lineup, however.

natsfan1a said...

I remember it, too. In fact, we used to called one of my dad's colleagues "Whittaker Walt."

"What would the Russians be doing on United States of America island, with so many animosities and hatreds between these two countries? It is too funny an idea, is it not? No, we... we are of course... Norveegans."

natsfan1a said...

I always liked Marlon, and thought he was a very nice young man. So there. ;-)

natsfan1a said...

(Disclaimer 1: Of course, we only called "Walt" that behind his back. You see, kids, back in the day we were taught to respect our elders, and if we didn't, well, let's just say that it didn't always end well.)

(Disclaimer 2: If I'd had my coffee already, I would have modified that quote and replaced "Russians" with "Phillies Phans" and "USA" with "Nationals Park" and "Norveegans" with, uh, I don't know. Eh, I'm going to get a cup now. Talk amongst yourselves.)

gonatsgo said...

I know we have actually batted this subject around a lot lately - but we really do have too many pitchers. Talk by posters of someone getting "Pattersoned" made me realize that somebody is going to be the odd man out - maybe more than one somebody. John Lannan is a veteran, Detweiler was a top draft choice, Stammen surely lost his opportunity yesterday and has been with the nats a long time - great guy. CMW, Perry, Matheus, Gorzo -I know it's supposed to be a good problem to have,people get hurt, yadda, yadda , but maybe we should move a couple of them for other pieces? Spring Training is going to be interesting for sure. Nobody wants a ticket to Syracuse.

Dave said...

Wait, did I really type "Nats's"?

Now back to radio silence, since Loudoun County Public Schools networks still run Windows XP and IE6. No commenting for me today. I do follow the threads during the day, though.

Anonymous said...

I can't think that Lidge is taking only $1M -- he could have gone to other high quality clubs for more money than that one has to think -- unless he thought that he'd have a chance to Close again should he round into something like his old form. Derw Storen is likely on the block.

Anonymous said...

N. Cognito said...
Mark your calendars. May 5th. Get your tickets. Take back our ballpark!

---------------------------------

Occupy Nats Park!

D'Gourds said...

I just don't get it. Why didn't we re-sign Coffey? He was fantastic last year. Great sinker, threw strikes, good guy. Why take a risk on a known head case? Just doesn't make sense to me.

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