The big righty heads to the DL sporting an ugly 7.27 ERA, six blown saves and, even more alarming, a 1.81 WHIP — this, after converting all 41 save opportunities last year and reemerging as one of the game’s top ninth-inning guys.
An 0-3 record? Fourteen walks and seven homers allowed in 26 innings? The writing was on the wall.
There’s no word yet on Lidge’s timetable, but as for replacements, it would be pretty surprising if Ryan Madson doesn’t see the majority of save opps in the interim. And unlike C.J. Wilson or other middling, right-place-right-time relievers, Madson deservedly brings a reputation as one of the game’s top setup men to the fireman spot. Need another reason to drop what you’re doing and go get Madson?
Chad Qualls, Arizona’s closer all season, has struggled not just throwing strikes lately but staying on the field, confessing Sunday that his forearm injury could linger. That opens the door for Pena.
Manager Bob Geren hasn’t spelled out the pecking order in Oakland’s bullpen, but it’s fairly obvious who he prefers in the ninth. Bailey notched his second save in as many days and his third of the week Monday. And opportunities aside, the guy is just fun to own, as he quickly blossomed into a star reliever and a dark-horse AL Rookie of the Year candidate, not unlike the guy he’s replacing, Brad Ziegler.
— Alex Cushing, MLB.com