Having been out since late April thanks to a sports hernia, Brad Lidge may finally be nearing a return to the Nationals bullpen. The veteran right-hander is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Monday with Class-A Potomac. It appears he is slated to pitch Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before the team will reassess whether he is ready to return.
If things go as planned, Lidge could return at the end of the Nationals’ three game series next weekend in Boston.
Lidge had made seven appearances for Washington before the injury – pitching to a 5.14 ERA with 2 saves, 7 strikeouts, and 7 walks. He started out the season as the team’s closer in lieu of Drew Storen‘s injury and despite some control issues was pitching fairly well for the Nationals. It was also apparent that his presence in the Washington bullpen was proving to be positive for the younger arms on the roster. He is far and away the most experienced reliever on the team and will see some opportunities to close upon his return, barring a standout week from Tyler Clippard that wins him the job for a little longer.
In other bullpen injury news … Ryan Mattheus is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, but won’t just yet. Mattheus feels he is ready but the team wants him to go on a rehab assignment first.