Phillies turn to Contreras as closer

Updated: May 16, 2010, 1:07 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge's sore elbow will force him to the disabled list for the second time this year.

After an MRI on Thursday showed no structural damage, the Phillies hoped rest would heal the inflammation. But after Lidge threw Saturday, the team decided to shelve the righty.

Lidge
Lidge

"This isn't something we didn't anticipate," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock told MLB.com. "Based on the way he threw today we decided this is the action to take."

Lidge said he'd either get more rest, a cortisone shot or a shot to help lubricate the joint next week. He expects the swelling to subside and said he's still upbeat after the MRI.

"This is something that apparently can happen on the recovery back," Lidge said. "When it goes away, which hopefully it will with whatever we treat it with, it should go away."

Journeyman Jose Contreras took over the ninth-inning role with setup man Ryan Madson out of action after he kicked a chair in early May and needed toe surgery. Contreras closed out the Phillies' 10-6 win over the Brewers on Saturday.

"Twenty-two years starting games, and now my career is closing games," Contreras said after Saturday's game. "It was a tough situation at that moment, but I was able to save the game. That's the most important thing."

Lidge, who had a cortisone shot in March during spring training, was hopeful he could avoid any sort of injection this time around.

"We didn't want to do it yet," Lidge said to MLB.com. "We wanted to see if it would recover on its own in a couple days. We didn't get there. ... We had a cortisone shot in March and that worked really good. Hopefully, that'll be what it needs to get over the hump."

Lidge began the year on the disabled list after offseason surgery, but was activated on April 30. After giving up a home run against the New York Mets in his season debut, the 33-year old had put together three consecutive scoreless innings in three appearances, capped by his first save of the season a week ago against the Atlanta Braves.

But after that outing, Lidge had struggled with elbow stiffness. After playing catch Monday, he said the elbow "didn't feel great."

Lidge opted for surgery after strugging last season, with a major league-high 11 blown saves. In 2008, Lidge was 48 for 48 in save opportunities, including the playoffs, while helping the Phillies win the World Series.

Philadelphia called up left-hander Antonio Bastardo from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Lidge's spot on the roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ALSO SEE