Healthy Lidge enjoying spring with Nats

Healthy Lidge enjoying spring with Nats

Healthy Lidge enjoying spring with Nats
JUPITER, Fla. -- Injury problems have limited Brad Lidge's opportunities in Spring Training in recent years, but he is making the most of it this time around.

The 35-year-old is healthy, and his numbers show it. Lidge has allowed just one run in seven innings this spring, and has struck out nine and walked none.

"I feel real good right now, for sure," Lidge said. "I think having a full healthy spring for me has really been a blessing. The last couple of years for me has been rough in Spring Training.

"But this year, over the winter I threw a lot, and I got into Spring Training and got to do everything I would normally do, which for me, is a very important thing. I'm not fighting anything, my body feels good, my arm feels good, so I can just go out there and throw."

In Lidge's most recent outing, the right-hander retired the Marlins in order in a perfect eighth inning during Washington's 3-1 loss Tuesday.

"I like what I've seen from him," manager Davey Johnson said. "He's throwing the ball good, making quality pitches and making it look easy."

With regular Nationals closer Drew Storen still recovering from inflammation in his right elbow, Lidge is expected to split the closing duties with Henry Rodriguez once the regular season begins.

Lidge is familiar with that role, as he has collected 223 saves during his 10-year career in the Majors.

"We all want Drew to get back as fast as possible. He's the closer, and hopefully it won't take him that long," Lidge said. "But obviously, I would be happy to have that role. I still feel like, in my mind, when I'm healthy that's something I love to do and I'm very happy to do it."