Brad Lidge Injury: Phillies Closer Activated From DL

Brad Lidge is back, though he won't close right away.

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7 Total Updates since March 25, 2011
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Brad Lidge Activated By Phillies; Danys Baez Designated For Assignment

Brad Lidge started spring training with a strained biceps tendon, and he ended it with a partially torn rotator cuff. That's a kind of progress, I guess. But while rotator-cuff tears are usually season-ending things, Lidge rehabbed without surgery, and now he's finally off the disabled list. From Jerry Crasnick:

Phillies activate Brad Lidge from disabled list. Designate Danys Baez for assignment.

Seeing as Lidge gave Phillies fans heart palpitations when he wasn't just coming off the disabled list, don't expect him to jump right back into the closer's role right away. Antonio Bastardo is pitching magnificently this year, and even though the Phillies aren't sure that Ryan Madson has that certain je ne sais close that it takes to get saves, he'll probably be ahead of Lidge on the depth chart as well.

To make room for Lidge the Phillies designated Danys Baez for assignment. His tenure with the Phillies was less than memorable. From Jayson Stark

Danys Baez finishes his #Phillies career w/ 5.81 ERA - 4th highest in team history by a pitcher who went to the mound at least 80 times.

I stand corrected: That's actually quite memorable.

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Brad Lidge Injury: Phillies Closer Has Elbow Examined

Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge has been working his way back from a partially torn rotator cuff over the past couple months. Everything seemed to be going pretty well until recently, when he developed some soreness in his right elbow. Lidge was sent to Philadelphia to have his elbow examined, and a lot of people were holding their breath.

Fortunately, it's all good news. Matt Gelb:

Brad Lidge was examined by team physician Michael Ciccotti and no serious damage was found in his elbow. Lidge called it a normal "flare up" he's used to experiencing in spring training. So he was given a cortisone shot.

Just a little discomfort, that's all. You'd rather there be no discomfort than minor discomfort, but this shouldn't be a major setback, and the cortisone shot ought to help.

Lidge can no longer be considered ahead of schedule, but he's on track to return to the Phillies' bullpen sometime around the All-Star break. He won't slide right into the closer role -- especially if Ryan Madson keeps thriving -- but he'll be there as proven insurance.

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Brad Lidge Looking To Return To Phillies In Three Weeks

Phillies closer Brad Lidge was forced to begin the 2011 season on the disabled list due to a partially torn rotator cuff. It wasn't a season-ender, but it was a partial season-ender, as Lidge and all Phillies officials targeted a return somewhere around the All-Star break.

After being cleared by doctors, though, Lidge began a throwing program that to date has gone well, and now it appears that he's a little ahead of schedule in his recovery. Via David Hale:

Lidge will throw another bullpen up here then head to ext spring Sunday. Said could be back in as little as 3 weeks. #Phillies

Three weeks from today might be a little optimistic, but then, it also might not, and considering the All-Star break doesn't begin until July 11, Lidge is definitely exceeding earlier expectations.

Jose Contreras will return to the Phillies' bullpen first, but Lidge will be right on his heels as the team will try to put all of its injury problems behind it in advance of the second half. Remarkably, even without Contreras and Lidge for long stretches, Phillies relievers have a combined 2.80 ERA. So they've done a great job of surviving adversity.

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Brad Lidge Injury To Keep Phillies Closer Out Until Near All-Star Break

A week ago, Phillies closer Brad Lidge conceded that his rotator cuff tear would probably keep him out for a few months. On Wednesday, manager Charlie Manuel only confirmed the timetable in an interview on MLB Network Radio. Said Manuel:

"I'm probably looking at maybe All-Star break, or... just before that," Manuel told the station.

Lidge said that he's looking to get back for the second half, and Manuel's in agreement. The big hope right now is that Lidge will have built his arm strength and stamina up to the point that, by then, he can hit the ground running and make an immediate impact.

In the meantime, Jose Contreras will continue to serve as the team's closer. Being without Lidge makes the bullpen weaker, obviously, but on Wednesday night four relievers were able to combine for more than four shutout innings in a big, wild game against the Mets, so it's not as if the Phillies are in a desperate position right now.

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Brad Lidge Has Rotator Cuff Tear And May Miss First Half

Earlier, it seemed like the Phillies had gotten a break when it was reported that Brad Lidge's shoulder injury would only keep him out for 3-6 weeks. Well, the news just got an awful lot worse. According to Martin Frank, Lidge won't be out for 3-6 weeks - he'll be shut down for 3-6 weeks, and then he'll have to go from there.

The reason? Lidge is dealing with a partial tear of his rotator cuff. A tear is the same thing as a strain, but to see it referred to as a tear implies a somewhat greater severity. Said Lidge:

"Best case is between 3-6 weeks to not throw at all. Then you’ve got to build up just as much on the other side, however long it takes. I’m thinking in my mind I’ve got to be back for the 2nd half and have a real good 2nd half, make sure  I’m stronger than before. Not just where I was, but stronger. It’s a partial tear of the rotator cuff. If it was in the labrum, that’s game over, out for the season. The rotator cuff doesn’t have to be … It’s still a crappy feeling."

So Lidge will take it easy for several weeks and then do his best to build up arm strength and return to action. In his own words, he's looking to come back in the second half of the season, but it's too early to predict how he'll do. All we know for sure is that the Phillies will be without their closer for longer than we thought just Tuesday morning.

Jose Contreras is expected to close in Lidge's absence.

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Brad Lidge To Miss 3-6 Weeks With Shoulder Injury

A few days ago, Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge developed some shoulder pain that promised to have him begin the 2011 regular season on the disabled list. Lidge was scheduled for a Tuesday MRI to look for any structural damage, and now we've got a timetable. From Todd Zolecki:

More from the ballpark: Lidge expected to miss 3 to 6 weeks.

Ryan Lawrence quotes general manager Ruben Amaro as saying that Lidge has a posterior rotator cuff strain. It's a bad break for the Phillies, but it could be an awful lot worse, as shoulder injuries can end seasons. Lidge is not going to need to undergo surgery.

Charlie Manuel is still deciding who will assume Lidge's role as closer in his absence. Again, from Zolecki, Manuel says he's leaning towards Jose Contreras over Ryan Madson, which wouldn't come as a surprise, but there's always the chance that he changes his mind before he finds himself staring at a save situation.

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Brad Lidge Has Shoulder Injury, Will Miss Start Of Season

Chase Utley's hurt. Domonic Brown's hurt. Placido Polanco's been hurt. The Phillies aren't having the easiest time of it this spring, and to make matters even worse, now Brad Lidge is going to begin the regular season on the disabled list due to shoulder pain.

The Phillies are currently unsure as to the nature of the problem, but they know that Lidge won't be available next week, so he's off to the DL. The team is still deciding whether Ryan Madson or Jose Contreras will assume closing responsibilities for as long as Lidge is out.

Lidge had been struggling this spring, and he'd previously been diagnosed with a sore right biceps tendon. It isn't known whether that discomfort is tied to this discomfort, but Lidge does have something of an injury history so to see something come up is hardly a surprise. The Phillies will cross their fingers and hope that nothing major is wrong, as Lidge is to be a key part of their plan going forward.

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