Brad Lidge, who had a dreadful season, underwent flexor tendon surgery and his recovery could set him behind schedule. Meanwhile, J.C. Romero could also miss the early going. Bottom line: bullpen is a major issue for the Phillies.
While the third base debate continues, here’s the dire situation in back of the Phillies’ bullpen. Brad Lidge was the worst closer in baseball last season. He just had elbow surgery. Ryan Madson again demonstrated his limitations as strictly an eighth-inning option and pitched 1 million innings. J.C. Romero is breaking down. Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre are probably gone. The Phillies are in a lot of trouble if they can’t get help. A lot of trouble. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Phillies “will be aggressive in signing a set-up man/closer safety net.” They must.
The good news is it’s a relatively saturated market for decent relievers, and there appear to be a disproportionate number of buyers and sellers. A report surfaced yesterday that the Phillies are kicking Fernando Rodney’s tires. More reports like these are likely to surface. Expect the Phils to add at least one, or possibly two, late-inning options.
Here’s another issue worth tracking down the road: do the Phillies make J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo permanent additions to the bullpen? Bastardo already seems like a given, Kendrick could find his way back to the majors through the middle innings, and Happ could be doomed for the 'pen depending on how the offseason unfolds.