Friday, October 21, 2005


Courtesy of

Mike Lieberthal had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday, a standard procedure that isn't uncommon for a veteran catcher.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Lombardo of the Kerlan-Jobe clinic in Los Angeles. Lieberthal is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

"It's a cleaning-out procedure," said assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "It's not a structural thing. It's just something that happens to a guy who's been catching for 15 years or so. I think Mike will be healthier as a result."

Health is a relative term as it relates to Lieberthal. While the 33-year-old hasn't spent a day on the disabled list since the 2001 season, he's had recurring discomfort in his knee. This year was no different. Nevertheless, Lieberthal played in 118 games and batted .263 with 12 homers. He struck out 35 times, a career low for a full season.

For the second straight season, he was especially good in September. He batted .304 with 10 RBIs in the final month, including one game in October.

There is a good deal that can be said about Mike Lieberthal and his 12-year tenure (soon to be 13 years, my apologies to the Lieby haters I know are out there) with the Philadelphia Phillies. All things Lieberthal will be discussed shortly in what hopefully will be an extensive, detailed look at all offseason and 2006 roster possibilities. In the meantime, again my apologies to Lieberthal's many haters, I present the player with the career most statistically similar to Mike Lieberthal through his age 33 season. Both players were born in 1972, both were first round picks, both have only played in the major leagues with one team throughout their respective big league careers, and both have been All-Stars. Take a look (

Player             Years        G    AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   BB    SO     BA    OBP    SLG    SB   CS   OPS+
Mike Lieberthal 1994-2005 12 1107 3932 506 1080 241 10 141 573 323 541 .275 .339 .449 8 7 103
Jason Varitek 1997-2005 9 965 3178 433 865 212 8 119 488 360 693 .272 .350 .456 23 13 107
I'm not drawing any conclusions yet, I'm just saying...


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