He has had inflammation in his right elbow since he pitched Sunday against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park. An MRI on Thursday in Philadelphia revealed no loose bodies or damaged ligaments, which the Phillies and Lidge considered good news. But the MRI still showed inflammation in the elbow joint.
They hoped rest would make it go away.
It never did, so the Phillies announced after Saturday's 10-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park that they had placed Lidge on the 15-day disabled list. They recalled left-hander Antonio Bastardo from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place.
"This isn't something we didn't anticipate," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "Based on the way he threw today we decided this is the action to take."
Lidge, who still felt stiffness in his arm playing catch before the game, can be activated as early as May 25.
"It is disappointing, but also the doctors said it's definitely a possibility because we didn't treat it at all," Lidge said. "We just gave it a couple days' rest. There are treatments we can give for it, hopefully, exactly what we need. It's frustrating it didn't go away on its own."
Two options for Lidge are a second cortisone injection -- he received his first in March -- and a joint lubricant injection.
He said they will make that decision Monday in Philadelphia.
"We didn't want to do it yet," Lidge said of any injections. "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."
Phillies right-hander Jose Contreras will be the team's closer in the meantime.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.