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12/23/1976 (40 y, 2 m, 1 d)
1998 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 17, Overall: 17, Team: Houston Astros
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Lidge has been designated for assignment by the Nationals, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports. (6/17/2012)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Despite saving 31 games, it was a rough year for Lidge. The veteran closer blew 11 saves and posted a horrendous 7.21 ERA. He also gave up 72 hits in 58.2 innings of work and 11 balls left the yard (1.69 HR/9). His strikeout rate gave a little something back to the fantasy managers who unwisely stuck with him, but the walk rate of 5.22 was not appreciated. His negative WAR value of -0.7 was definitely not what the '08 World Champions were looking for from their veteran fireman. He did save three games in as many opportunities, but he didn’t look overly great doing it.
The Year Ahead:
At 32, Lidge should still have some value as a closer. His fastball has been slowly losing steam over the past few seasons, as it averaged out at 93.6 mph in '09. That average speed is down from 96.0 mph in 2005 with Houston. A two-pitch pitcher, Lidge's fastball was pretty bad at -16.8 wFB in '09 and his slider was also quite ineffective, especially compared to seasons past. On the plus side, batters still had trouble making contact with the right-hander (68.1%, or 12.4% below the MLB average). When hitters made contact, though, bad things happened. Lidge's reputation will no doubt earn him another shot at the closer's role in 2010, but the leash may be quite short. Ryan Madson is waiting in the wings for the next shot at the Phillies’ closer gig. (Marc Hulet)
A year removed from his worst season -- and arguably the worst season any 30-save closer has ever had -- Brad Lidge bounced back to effectiveness, if not elite status. His strikeouts improved and walks decreased over his woeful 2009, but neither returned to the levels he posted from 2003 to '08. Last year was also his fourth in a row with a DL trip, and his first bout with elbow inflammation. Seen all at once, 2010 was good but not great: he coupled a good but not stellar strikeout rate with a worryingly high walk rate; thanks to injury he made the fewest appearances of his career and recorded just 27 saves, tied for 15th in baseball; his 2.96 ERA was 12th among major league closers with at least 25 saves, and his 1.23 WHIP was 14th. Since Lidge just celebrated his 34th birthday in the offseason, and hasn't posted a BB/9 below 4.0 since 2005, it's hard to imagine him topping those numbers in 2011. Since he has had so many highs and lows over his career, it can be hard to keep track of whether he’s overrated or underrated. Right now, he’s probably rated correctly: he’s just okay. (Alex Remington)
The Quick Opinion:
Since he has had so many highs and lows over his career, it can be hard to keep track of whether he’s overrated or underrated. Right now, he’s probably rated correctly: he’s just okay.
Years of throwing slider after slider have finally caught up to the 35-year-old Lidge, who's been on the disabled list with arm problems three times in the last two seasons. He was unsurprisingly mediocre after coming back in the second half this past season, walking 13 in 19.1 IP. In fact, if you go back to the start of the 2009 season, Lidge has walked 71 batters in 123.2 IP (5.17 walks per nine) though he always managed to limit the damage with a high strikeout rate (9.90 per nine). Now with the Nationals, Lidge is pretty far removed from a closer's job. Without the guarantee of save opportunities, he's not worth targeting on draft day given his injury problems and underwhelming performance in recent years. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
The health of Lidge's arm is a serious question mark, but his days as an elite closer are over. He might grab save chances if he catches on with a non-contender, but otherwise it's fine to take him off your board.
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Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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