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Sunday, May 24, 2009
Well, apparently it needs to be said. Brad Lidge will remain the closer for the Philadelphia Phillies. When it gets to this point for most closers — where they receive the dreaded 'vote of confidence' that manager Charlie Manuel bestowed upon Lidge tonight — we'll often see a change if the pitcher can't turn things around over his next couple appearances. It'll likely be a different story for a guy with the track record of Lidge, and this is actually his second vote of confidence this month. Maybe Manuel really is just trying to get people off his back.
Still, between 1) the fact that Lidge's strikeouts are down, he's walking a ton of batters, and he's not inducing many ground balls, 2) his volatile injury situation, 3) the fact that Ryan Madson is pitching well, and 4) he's now received two votes of confidence, there is certainly cause for concern.
Madson should be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues by any owners prospecting for saves. Lidge will have ample opportunity to turn things around, but if he can't, you can be sure the Phillies won't want to head into the summer months or down the stretch run with a guy who isn't slamming the door shut in the 9th. And remember, this is a relatively impulsive club — the same that sent Brett Myers to the minors last year.