Brad Lidge needs “about six more appearances” in the minors

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Brad Lidge threw a scoreless inning last night at Double-A in his fourth minor-league rehab appearance, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be cleared to return from the disabled list this week.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Lidge “still could require about six more appearances” in the minors before the Phillies consider activating him, which jibes with the rehab timetable laid out by the team earlier this month.

Lidge has been on the DL for the entire season with shoulder and elbow problems, but has thrown four innings of one-run ball in the minors while striking out six and walking none.

Jose Contreras’ recent setback means the Phillies need a healthy Lidge in the second half more than ever, but Ryan Madson being on the verge of returning from his own stint on the DL gives them some leeway to be cautious with Lidge’s comeback. Oh, and having the best record in baseball at 57-34 helps too. Philadelphia’s focus at this point should be October, not July.

Report: Nathan Eovaldi drawing interest from at least nine teams

Nathan Eovaldi
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Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.

Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.

A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.