They celebrated the 2008 World Series champions Philadelphia Phillies before Sunday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, and among the stories being swapped was a cautionary tale about closers and spring training – actually, spring training in general. Rich Dubee, manager Charlie Manuel’s pitching coach on that team, recalled that the teams closer that season, Brad Lidge, tore his right meniscus in a workout late in February. “What I remember most is we had to leave him behind in Florida for a week … and then he was perfect for the rest of the season after he joined us,” Dubee, who coached in the Montreal Expos minor-league system for three years, told Phillies broadcaster Larry Andersen. Indeed, Lidge was perfect: 48-for-48 in save opportunities. He saved seven of the Phillies’ 10 post-season wins, including the final inning of their World Series win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5. So, good health aside, I asked Blue Jays manager John Gibbons how he knew when a closer was ready coming out of spring training. It depends, he answered. Sometimes its velocity, but in the case of Roberto Osuna, it’s not that easy.
Blue Jays’ Osuna getting the type of spring he’s been looking for
Sportsnet | Mar 5