MIAMI — Brad Lidge arrived Friday to Marlins Park to resume a role he served during spring training as he will spend the final weekend before the all-star break working as a guest instructor for the Phillies’ pitching staff.
Lidge, the closer who was among the stars of the Phillies’ 2008 World Series championship season, will work with the pitchers before the games but is not permitted to be in the dugout or the bullpen during the three-game series against the Marlins since he is not a member of the coaching staff.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said Lidge is a positive influence who “lights up a room.” He would like his relievers to pick up some advice from Lidge on the mental side of the game.
“Mentality with the game on the line in the highest-leverage situations on the biggest stage with the brightest lights,” Kapler said. “What it’s like to be in that position and maybe some tips on how to calm your heart rate and maintain your composure, things of that nature.”
The Phillies’ bullpen entered Friday night with a major-league-best 1.89 ERA in July after finishing June with a 5.79 ERA that ranked second to last. The unit has the third-best save percentage despite the fact the Phillies have used eight pitchers to record that mark. The Phillies’ bullpen is not perfect, but it has more than enough solid arms. Lidge will have some candidates to work with.
Reliever Luis Garcia (wrist) began a rehab assignment Friday with triple-A Lehigh Valley and could rejoin the Phillies after the all-star break. Aaron Nola will pitch Saturday against righthander Trevor Richards and Zach Eflin will face Jose Urena on Sunday in the final game before the break.