Phillies reliever Brad Lidge tossed a successful bullpen session before Thursday’s game at Citi Field and could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Monday, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.
Lidge threw 40 pitches in the short workout and reported no pain or discomfort in his throwing elbow. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list back on May 10 with right elbow inflammation and was given a cortisone shot about a week later that seems to have worked like a charm.
Jose Contereras has been manning ninth-inning duties for the Phils with Lidge sidelined and owns a lights-out 0.63 ERA and 0.70 WHIP through 16 appearances. Contreras is probably going to hang onto the gig unless Lidge starts blowing batters away right out of the gate. Based on what we’ve seen from Lidge lately, that’s not likely to happen.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.