I think he is great, and has absolutely nasty stuff, and think he is as good as Dotel. Where would you rank him?
Gagne, Wagner, Rivera, Smoltz
Foulke, Guardado, Izzy, Hoffman, Lidge here???
Registered_Guest is 100% right. Lidge is a wicked stud except the MR for the Astros suck so much that he won't get any save ops because they will all be blown in the 8th inning(eg) Yesterdays game against the Cubbies)
I think it's big leap to put him anywhere near the top tier for at least a couple months. Closing is fundamenatlly different than MR. Everyone who has tried it says so. No one doubts his stuff from the neck down. He can throw hard for an inning. So can a lot of guys. Let's see what he can do from the neck up. That will be the determining factor.
If I were a "buyer" I'd rank him in the mid-pack right now. If I were a "seller," upper mid-pack.
I think we still need to give him time before we call him a stud. Sure he has great stuff, and has looked pretty good so far, but how many others have been like that? Lots, a lot more than have lived up to the hype probably. Another thing is the expectation and pressure of closing in a tight division race (if they can pull themselves back in it when all their SP's are healthy) has seen many wilt under the pressure. It takes a different kind of pitcher to be a great closer IMO, and only time will tell if he has the stuff to get it done at the major league level.