Lidge's nightmare year now includes arm surgery

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What do you do after blowing an MLB-high 11 saves with a 7.21 ERA during the regular season and coughing up three runs to take the loss in your final postseason outing?
Well, if you’re Brad Lidge you have your arm operated on. Lidge underwent surgery yesterday to repair the flexor pronator tendon in his forearm and also had “a loose body” removed from his elbow while he was under the knife.
He’ll be out of commission for about two months and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. revealed that he may not be ready for the start of spring training.
“Brad could be one to two weeks behind in spring training, but overall we feel very good about his recovery time,” Amaro said. “We’re hopeful that he will be ready close to Opening Day.”
It’s worth noting that “will be ready close to Opening Day” could mean something entirely different than “will be ready to close Opening Day,” especially if the Phillies’ reported interest in Fernando Rodney proves real. It’ll be interesting to see if Charlie Manuel’s loyalty to Lidge extends to throwing him out there with a ninth-inning lead in Game 1 of 2010 even if the surgery limits him during spring training. And by “interesting” I mean enough to give Phillies fans heartburn all offseason.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.

Wanna feel old? Dusty Baker’s son Darren is graduating from high school

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Remember Darren Baker, the son of Nats manager Dusty Baker? If you do, it’s because you remember him as a three-year-old bat boy for the San Francisco Giants who, during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, was almost run over at home plate only to be saved by Giants first baseman J.T. Snow. Simple math makes it obvious that the kid is now 18, but it still feels weird that so much time has passed.

Now Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, so father Dusty will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend the ceremonies and festivities. Baker will rejoin Washington when they begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday. In the meantime, bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties.

Time flies, man.