Brad Lidge had been pitching in extended spring training down in Clearwater, but he’s on his way back to Philly now due to a setback: elbow soreness.
You’ll recall that the reason he’s on the DL in the first place is a strain of his rotator cuff in his right shoulder, so this is a new problem. Not a terribly worrisome one to the Phillies yet, however, because Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro are saying that it’s a common thing. Maybe an overcompensation injury? They’re going to check him out today, however, to see what’s what.
While that may mean that it’s a while before Lidge is back in action, his role has been filled quite nicely by Ryan Madson, who is 12-for-12 with a 0.64 ERA in save situations. Madson will remain the closer no matter what happens with Lidge, so the implication here is late season bullpen depth more than anything.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.