After the Nationals placed him on the disabled list today with an abdominal strain, reliever Brad Lidge will visit a specialist in Philadelphia for further tests and to determine a timetable for his return.
With Lidge out, the Nationals recalled right-hander Ryan Perry from Class AAA Syracuse. Manager Davey Johnson said he will ditch the plan to use ‘A’ and ‘B’ closers and hand the ninth inning to flamethrowing right-hander Henry Rodriguez.
Lidge, 35, started feeling minor discomfort where his lower abdomen meets his right groin earlier this season, but not enough that it affected his pitching. “It didn’t bother enough while I was pitching that I really thought much of it,” Lidge said.
Lidge last appeared in a game last Saturday, when he blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning against the Marlins. He threw a bullpen session Wednesday in San Diego only to stay fresh, but the pain worsened during the practice.
“I had to say something, because if I had gotten in the game, it wouldn’t have been real pretty,” Lidge said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
Lidge will not know a rough timetable for his return until after his visit to the doctor who performed Ryan Zimmerman’s abdominal surgery last year.
“I haven’t had anything like this before, so I’m concerned about that,” Lidge said. “I don’t think, with these types of things, the worst case will be a long, long time. I’m hoping for the best case. We just have to know a little bit more.”
Lidge recently completed his first fully healthy spring training several seasons, and he felt positive about his health heading into this season. The optimism served to compound the blow of the injury.
“I’m pretty frustrated right now,” Lidge said. “You want to be out there for your teammates, the whole year.”