Brad Lidge eyes Friday return to Phillies’ bullpen

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Brad Lidge made his eighth minor-league rehab appearance today, throwing a scoreless inning at Single-A, and David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that he may be cleared to come off the disabled list as soon as Friday.

Lidge has been mostly impressive in the minors, allowing three runs in 7.2 innings while striking out 10 and walking just one, but he hasn’t pitched for the Phillies since last October due to arm problems.

Philadelphia is said to be in the market for bullpen help, with some reports pegging them as the front-runners to acquire Heath Bell or Mike Adams from the Padres, but Lidge returning Friday and putting together a few impressive outings could change the Phillies’ plans a bit heading into the July 31 trade deadline.

Lidge figures to return as a setup man, with both Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo ahead of him on the closer depth chart.

Masahiro Tanaka throws a Maddux

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You do know what a Maddux is, right? In case you forgot, it’s a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. Friend of HBT Jason Lukehart invented that little metric and, because Greg Maddux is my favorite player ever, it’s pretty much my favorite stat ever.

In the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight it was Masahiro Tanaka doing the honors, tossing 97-pitch three-hitter in which he only allowed one runner to reach second base to beat Boston 3-0. He only struck out three but he didn’t walk anyone. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.

Chris Sale was no slouch himself, striking out ten in eight innings. He’s pitched great this year but he’s not getting any help. The Sox have only scored four runs in his five starts. Boston has scored only 13 runs in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times in the past seven. They scored more runs than anyone last year, by the way.

The game only took two hours and twenty-one minutes. Or, like, half the time of a Yankees-Red Sox game in the early 2000s. Progress, people. We’re making progress.

Shelby Miller has a tear in his UCL, considering Tommy John surgery

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery. Surgery would end Miller’s 2017 season and would cut into a significant portion — if not all — of his 2018 season as well.

Miller sent his MRI results to Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews for second and third opinions, respectively. He could choose to rehab his elbow rather than undergo surgery, but that comes with its own set of positives and negatives.

Miller lasted only four-plus innings in his most recent start on Sunday and carries a 4.09 ERA on the season, his second with the Diamondbacks. His time in Arizona has not gone well.