Charlie Manuel still views Brad Lidge as an excellent closer, possibly this season. And he plans on shifting the bullpen dynamic this month with the goal of fixing Lidge in time for the playoffs.
But if that does not happen, others will use September to prepare for postseason job. What had become gradually clear this week and was made official in a meeting after Wednesday’s game: Lidge is no longer the Phillies sole closer, though he will likely still serve in that role at times, and could regain total control of the job this year.
In a meeting after Ryan Madson earned the save in Wednesday’s 6-5 win over Washington Wednesday, Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee informed Lidge of a change in the back of the bullpen. With the ultimate goal still to begin the playoffs with an effective Lidge as closer, the Phillies will use different pitchers in save situations in the near future.
Though Manuel did not name them, Madson and Brett Myers are the likely other candidates to close games. The manager summoned Madson Wednesday in part because Myers was unavailable after pitching four consecutive days.
Beyond that, specifics remained fuzzy. “It’ll be what it’s going to be,” Manuel said. “That’s the way I look at it. I see where he can be our everyday closer again.
Lidge said he agreed with Manuel’s approach. “It’s real simple. Just get me work to get me where I need to be, and that’s about it. I told him, listen, whatever you need me to do, I’ll be willing to take the ball any time.