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Jose Contreras ready to rejoin Phillies as a setup man

May 24, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants, Game 5 Getty Images

Jose Contreras made his final minor-league rehab appearance this morning at Triple-A, throwing two scoreless innings, and Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that he’ll likely be activated from the disabled list tomorrow.

Contreras was filling in for Brad Lidge as the Phillies’ closer when an elbow injury shut him down in mid-April, but three weeks later he’ll return as a setup man thanks to Ryan Madson thriving in the ninth inning while he was out.

Madson is 9-for-9 converting saves with a 0.47 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 19 innings, finally showing that he’s capable of dominating in the ninth inning just like he has for years in the seventh and eighth innings.

Contreras seems likely to assume Madson’s old setup role, although if Madson has a rough patch manager Charlie Manuel probably won’t be hesitant to hand closing duties back to Contreras after initially picking him to do the job over Madson in the first place.

  1. bjavie - May 24, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    I’d say he is more than welcomed back. I don’t know the deal with Baez and options, but I would prefer he be odd man out as opposed to Stutes or Bastardo.

    My concern comes in when I think about Lidge throwing again. Cholly stands by him to a fault, I think. I assume that Cholly will simply hand him the closer role back, stating, as he always does, “He’s our closer.” Which does wonders on ly for his feelings and Advil sales. I think Madson has earned it and if Lidge does not have the mentality to be a set up guy, then too bad, he can pitch once every 7-8 days like the rest of the middle bull pen. His ability to be a doinant closer again is in serious doubt. I said him starting on the DL was going to give the Phils more wins than losses, judging by Madson’s and Contreras’ performances, I would say that’s correct. Anyone else think Lidge would have been in the neigborhood of 15 for 15? I don’t.

    I know, I know, I know, if it weren’t for him we (yes, “we” – I believe my cheering and jeering helps them be a better team, I honestly do) would not have won the World Series in 2008. Well, it’s 2011 and Mad Dog is the new Bedrock in town!

    • bleedgreen - May 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

      The ONLY reason to pitch Lidge is to build him up as trade bait. He’s nto getting any younger, he’s had similar injuries 2 years in a row. He seems to be a head case now as well. We simply do not need him, his inconsistency or his contract.

      • bjavie - May 24, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        Amen. Preach on, borther!!!

    • macjacmccoy - May 24, 2011 at 3:46 PM

      Lidge was pretty damn good in the 2nd half of the season last year. And I dont think Charly standing by Lidge has anything to do with Lidge thats what hes like with every player on the team. Also it was easier for him to stay loyal to Lidge in the past bc Madson Eyre etc. werent getting it done when they were givin the chance to close. But I do agree that Madson gives the Phillies the best chance at winning even though Im of the school that not giving up a run in the 8th inning is just as important as not giving up a run in the 9th.

      I think since Madson has finally proven he can handle the 9th inning and has been doing it for an extended period of time Manuel will remain loyal to him for the rest of the season or until complete and utter collapse on Madson part.

  2. halladaysbicepts - May 24, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Unfortunately, we can’t rely on this old man, coming off the injury he’s had. That said, if he can spell some innings before breaking down again and pitch better than David Herndon, I’m all for it.

    No one really knows how old Contreras is. My sources tell me 51 years old.

  3. Jonny 5 - May 24, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    I welcome back this big lug with open arms. Less of Baez is a good thing. Although I do hear Danys is a pretty nice guy besides him not living up to his pay yet.

  4. professor59 - May 24, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    I’d love to see Baez go, but he’s the one making all the money. It’s OK, there are enough good arms so that he only needs to see garbage time.
    And not that I wish Lidge any personal harm, but I wouldn’t mind a series of “minor setbacks” until his contract runs out.

    • Jonny 5 - May 24, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      Actually if Lidge does come back, and he does pitch well, it could be a good thing. Bull pens can get stretched thin late in the season. He’s probably better than Baez, I think.

  5. cup0pizza - May 24, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Yawn. Another worthless Phillies article.

    • Utley's Hair - May 24, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      If you have a problem with the Phillies posts, feel free to not read them, mmkay? Nobody forced you to go through the trouble of actually clicking several times to read it and comment. Hell, the title up there actually mentions the Phillies, so the fact that you read it brings up the question of your IQ, since there’s a pretty decent chance that a post that mentions the Phillies by name in the title is actually about the Phillies, dontcha think?

      There are a few on here about the Dodgers, so why not just go to them, rather than go to those about the Phillies solely to b!tch about the posts?

      • dirtyharry1971 - May 25, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        listen to this knucklehead, get a life already!

  6. macjacmccoy - May 24, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    ” although if Madson has a rough patch manager Charlie Manuel probably won’t be hesitant to hand closing duties back to Contreras after initially picking him to do the job over Madson in the first place.”

    Wrong. Once Charly committs to you thats it. For better or worse the guy is extremely loyal. Madson will have to blow 5 or 6 saves in a relatively short period of time for Manuel to take the job back for Madson.

  7. cup0pizza - May 24, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Sensitive Phillies fans certainly get their panties in a bunch! Love it. See ya in the comments section of the next lame, needless Phillies article, utleyshair.

    • Jonny 5 - May 24, 2011 at 4:02 PM

      A cup of pizza is either the worst or best idea I’ve ever heard of.

    • bjavie - May 24, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      My guess is that you are a Met’s fan and are simply irritated that Philies articles are about players playing ball, rather than owners…rather than….well, whatever the hell is going on upstairs at Eric’s.

  8. cup0pizza - May 24, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Nah, just hate the NL version of the Yankees (minus the consistent winning history). I DO look forward to the articles here when a few of Filthadelphia’s bought players throw out their arms. =)

  9. dirtyharry1971 - May 25, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Contreras like utley’s wart was a big bust who should have retired 5 years ago, any bullpen thats counting on this guy is in a lot of trouble, case closed

    • Utley's Hair - May 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

      Hey there, sunshine!!!! Good to see you still around. It’s a shame you’re still a nitwit, though. Why not just pop a few of your meds and make everybody else feel better?

      • dirtyharry1971 - May 25, 2011 at 2:35 PM

        once again i prove the truth really hurts sometimes, isnt that right utley’s nutsack?

      • Utley's Hair - May 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM

        Hmm…not sure where or how you see that, numnuts. Maybe get some bifocals with the rest of your meds? Now, why not get your nursing home attendant to change your Depends.

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