Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lidge DFA'd, Mattheus activated

The Nationals designated struggling reliever Brad Lidge for assignment this morning, activating right-hander Ryan Mattheus off the 15-day disabled list to take his roster spot.

Feeling the need to add a fresh arm after yesterday's 14-inning loss to the Yankees, general manager Mike Rizzo said the Lidge/Mattheus swap made the most sense.

"Brad wasn't performing very well, and he was disappointed," Rizzo said. "Mattheus was ready to come off the rehab assignment, and we felt this was the right time to make the move."

Lidge took the loss yesterday, giving up three hits (including Mark Teixeira's two-run double) in the top of the 14th. While lamenting several groundball singles he surrendered the last couple of days, the 35-year-old also understood he wasn't performing at a high enough standard.

"It is frustrating when something like that happens, but you just try to grind through it," he said following yesterday's game. "Just keep throwing good pitches, quality pitches, and at some point those balls will get to people and we'll make outs. But until then, you've just got to battle and keep throwing strikes."

Owner of 225 career saves and two All-Star appearances, Lidge signed a one-year, $1 million with the Nationals in February and was expected to hold a key role as a setup man and mentor for closer Drew Storen. But when Storen needed surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow, Lidge became one of manager Davey Johnson's co-closers (with Henry Rodriguez) to open the season.

Lidge earned the save on Opening Day in Chicago but quickly fell into trouble. In 11 total appearances, he wound up with a 9.64 ERA, a career-worst 2.464 WHIP and two blown saves. A sports hernia required surgery and sidelined him for five weeks, but he surrendered runs in three of his four appearances after returning from the DL earlier this month.

"I think he was healthy," Rizzo said. "He said he was healthy. He threw like he was healthy. He was in no pain, no after-effects after he was done rehabbing."

The DFA move leaves Lidge in limbo for as many as 10 days. If he passes through waivers unclaimed, the Nationals could outright him to Class AAA, though they're unlikely to do that with a veteran of his stature. A more plausible scenario would have Lidge released once he clears, at which point he'll be free to sign with another club.

Rizzo met with Lidge behind closed doors this morning and appreciated the way the veteran reliever dealt with the news.

"He handled it like the professional that he is," Rizzo said. "After his performance yesterday, he told me he felt he knew there would some kind of move in the bullpen. Like I said, he was disappointed in the way he pitched and he was sorry it didn't turn out better."

Mattheus returns after missing three weeks with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The 28-year-old right-hander had a 2.25 ERA in 19 games before suffering his injury and made three minor-league rehab appearances before team officials were convinced he was ready to come off the DL.

33 comments:

JaneB said...

I know he has to be disappointed, and it's not the optimal way to end his career (unless someone else will pick him up). AND it sure was the right move for the Nationals. I know he taught the guys a lot, and I'm grateful for his presence. I wish him all the best.

Grandstander said...

Finally!!!!!

Joe Seamhead said...

Such is the life of a pro ballplayer. He had a good, long run. Sorry it didn't work out better here for him.
As to Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson, it's alway tough to make that call, but to win you gotta know when to hold them and when to fold them.

The Retired Journalist said...

A needed move and I'm happy everybody appears to have handled it in a professional manner. If this does end Lidge's baseball career, he's got a lot to look back at with pride.

That's a clown Scooter, bro said...

Well, I'm not gonna crow, but this makes sense.

MicheleS said...

I hope whatever happens next for Lidge, it's a good thing. If he takes the DFA to 'Cuse or goes wherever, maybe he can have the time to work on his pitching and can contribute to us down the road - hopefully without giving me heartburn ;-). He was a valuable sounding board for our young relievers and I hope he knows that.

Kirbs said...

Hate to see Brad go, he appears the be a great guy. Bit this is about winning and this had to be done. To be optimistic, Ejax has thrived in these "bullpen is done so we need innings" games. Plus we did not lose any ground yesterday, were still up 4.

Kirbs said...

And please ignore the messed up words cause by my Droid.....

sjm308 said...

Had to be tough all the way around but it was the right move. Oddly, I think if Storen had not been injured Lidge might have done well in that role of 6th or 7th inning guy and there is no doubt he was a huge help to our young guys sitting out there during a game. This also helps a hugely depleted bullpen immediately. Still hoping for the EJax that goes long today and that our bats will snap out of this.

Go Nats!!

Doc said...

I guess that Mike Gonzo is next on the DFA list when MPHRod is in line to come off the DL.

It gets more difficult when Tinkerbell is ready to return. Although Davey is against doing it, at that point it may be time to swap the roster with an addional relief pitcher at the expense of a bench player.

Faraz Shaikh said...

since that first save in chicago, it was an up and down journey, well not so much up. anyways I was hoping he would turn it around and provide some more guidance to storen and co.

natscan reduxit said...

... last year about this time, my boy Matt Stairs came to the end of the road, like maybe Brad Lidge has done today. In a radio interview this week, Matt told us he was leaving Bangor Maine, and moving back home to Canada, to my own backyard. Woo-hoo. He sounded so upbeat during the interview it was clear any notion of a let down or disappointment over the way his career ended had long since passed.

... such is the way of life, and Brad Lidge will move on as well. It's a dream come true for anyone to play baseball, and to play it at the highest level in the world is beyond words. Brad will do weel wherever he winds up.

... as I listened to Matt on the radio, I heard him say he is coming back home so his daughters can go to school in their chosen college. Sometimes the best Father's Day gift is the one you give to your kids.

Happy Father's Day to one and all, and oh yeah ...

Go You Golden Nats, Go!!

DWS said...

I don't post often. As a long time baseball fan I must say this (blog) is one of my joys everyday.

I check out the Nats home page, MASN and WaPo in that order. Last NI. The reason for that is the excellent coverage by the author and the usually excellent commentary by posters.

I can disagree and/or agree with some or all of you out there, but imho the ladies for the most part have it right.

Thank you MicheleS, Natslady, and all.

I especially like the links to something I'd probably not see.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The right move that 1st place teams make

MicheleS said...

And there will be more moves like this as people get healthy. Glad it's Rizzo/Davey making the call.

baseballswami said...

No game post today? Or line ups?

JaneB said...

Wondering the same thing, Swami, about the lineups. Wondering if something is going on i the clubhouse, or what...

MicheleS said...

Swammi.. I have a feeling with the lidge news and if Mark had to do a CSN spot, it might be a couple of more minutes. These are busy times.

baseballswami said...

I thought maybe he was enjoying his first Father's Day -- but I see that he posted the Lidge news.Lidge is a good guy, but he is done. Storen really admires him.Livo, Pudge, Lidge - people the Nats are no longer relying on - unheard of just a short time ago.

baseballswami said...

Also - usually the line ups are posted multiple times on twitter by the sports types around here - no one has posted them. Hmmmmm? Any surprises in store?

ehay2k said...

Happy First Fathers Day to Mark Z.

As for Lidge, it's sad, but in no way unexpected. (Will the Barves pick him up?)

Faraz Shaikh said...

this is what I found on another site:
1. Steve Lombardozzi (S) LF
2. Bryce Harper (L) CF
3. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 3B
4. Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
5. Michael Morse (R) RF
6. Ian Desmond (R) SS
7. Danny Espinosa (S) 2B
8. Jhonatan Solano (R) C
9. Edwin Jackson (R) P

and

1. Derek Jeter (R) SS
2. Curtis Granderson (L) CF
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) 3B
4. Robinson Cano (L) 2B
5. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
6. Raul Ibanez (L) LF
7. Andruw Jones (R) RF
8. Chris Stewart (R) C
9. Ivan Nova (R) P

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
And there will be more moves like this as people get healthy. Glad it's Rizzo/Davey making the call.

June 17, 2012 1:15 PM
_____________________________

3 more major moves will have to occur since the 40 man is at 40. Marrero, Storen and Werth.

Rizzo has to make a trade and get some value for players like Henry and Lannan. Nady will probably be a straight DFA.

MicheleS said...

New Post...

Kevin Rusch said...

Like others, I hope Lidge can maybe go to AAA and see if he can work it out. It's obvious the guy has talent, and it's not like he's 38 and DONE, just stinking right now.

As for MPHRod - if I were Rizzo, I'd give him a LONG rehab stint and tell him "cut the walks out or we'll have to DFA you. You have 30 days of rehab to fix this."

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

I liked the Lidge signing. Too bad it didn't work out, but really, it didn't. I think they're done with Henry, too.

Kevin Rusch said...

I think Henry's potential gives him another few shots. When he took a little off his fastball against Baltimore, he was still unhittable and didn't walk anyone. That's such strong potential, you hate to give up on it.

JayB said...

Like I said....Rizzo was dumb to sign him, put him in key situations, rush him back from DL even as he was getting crushed in single A........Rizzo gets no credit for cutting him...he cost the team several wins.

sean wilson said...

Lidge is gone. About time

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Good bye, Lidge. You are a very lucky. You got a team to pay you 1 million dollars for skills you no longer have, a team that never expected to be in the hunt to this degree.

You will not be missed. But enjoy your free million bucks. Dont let the door hit you on the way out, you stink'n bum.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

JayB: You are absolutely correct, except for one thing: Rizzo did not put Lidge in a position to lose to straight ball games, Davey did.

Rizzo had no idea that we'd be this good so soon. I think he felt that a damaged Lidge was good enough for this year's team. LIttle did he know that Lidge is no pitcher -- and certainly no pitcher for a contender.

On the other hand ... shame on Davey for putting him in a position to lose two ball games for us. Davey does some things very well, but Davey is prone to giving up games -- Rizzo should be looking for his 2013 replacement.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Good bye, Lidge. You are a very lucky. You got a team to pay you 1 million dollars for skills you no longer have, a team that never expected to be in the hunt to this degree.

You will not be missed. But enjoy your free million bucks. Dont let the door hit you on the way out, you stink'n bum.

natsfan1a said...

Late to the post and seconding the comments of my sister fans JaneB and MicheleS.

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