Brad Lidge was even more perfect than the World Series champion Phillies in 2008. He didn’t have a single blown save.
What a difference a year makes. Injured in the Phillies World Series dogpile after earning the strikeout that gave Philadelphia its first title since 1980, Lidge was not himself in the early going in 2009. Lidge had 13 saves, but also had 6 blown saves and a 7.27 ERA.
Lidge had been on the disabled list since June 6 with a sprained right knee. Thursday, Lidge was re-activated to the Phillies bullpen that has been decimated by injuries in June with Clay Condrey and Scott Eyre both on the DL.
Lidge’s return means that Ryan Madson is back in the role of set up man after a disapointing stint as the Philadelphia closer. After saving two games in New York against the rival Mets, Madson blew two saves in interleague play against the Blue Jays and Orioles. He also lost two games to the Jays. (Yes, it’s possible to get a blown save and a loss in the same game.)
Fantasy Baseball Dugout recommended that Madson be a must pickup in all fantasy baseball leagues when Lidge went on the DL. At this point, with Madson role back to being a solid set up man, he clearly has less value than previously. Madson is a solid reliever in large leagues only and it is more beneficial to have Lidge back in your fantasy baseball starting lineup.
James Quintong of ESPN has an interesting fantasy baseball analysis of relief pitchers in today’s column. Quintong ranks Lidge as the 23rd best relief pitcher from this point on; Madson is 34.