Tag:Ryan Madson
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:15 pm

Madson on walk-in music: 'I don't want any'

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- With closers playing musical chairs this winter, the biggest question of the spring became . . . music?


Jonathan Papelbon moved from the Red Sox to the Phillies, so the Dropkick Murphys say he can't use "Shipping Up To Boston" as his walk-in music. Andrew Bailey moved from the A's to the Red Sox, and the music question is big enough that Bailey opened a Twitter chat Wednesday night by saying, "FYI, no walk out song yet."

And what about Ryan Madson, who moved from the Phillies to the Reds?

Last year, Madson entered games to "Don't Stop Believing'." Theoretically, he could do the same this year, since the song isn't exactly tied to Philadelphia.

But Madson said he doesn't want it. In fact, when the Reds asked him what song he wanted, he said he told them he didn't want anything.

"I just want to go out there and get three outs," Madson said Thursday morning.

Madson is in good spirits, despite some elbow soreness that has kept him out of early Cactus League games, and despite a winter that saw him leave the Phillies after talks about a multiyear contract strangely fell through.

"I'm a simple guy from California," he said.

He signed a one-year deal with the Reds for $8.5 million, a little apprehensive about changing teams for the first time in his career.

"I didn't really know what to expect, but it's been great," he said. "I like all the guys. They're very cool."

And about what happened at the end in Philadelphia, when he was offered at least a three-year deal and then seemed close to signing a four-year deal?

"I don't even care anymore," Madson said.
Posted on: November 11, 2011 4:38 pm

Lots of money, but Phillies get their closer

Typical Phillies.

Lots of money. A little intrigue. And the best guy on the market ends up at Citizens Bank Park.

They needed a closer, with Ryan Madson heading into free agency. And after a strange week in which they agreed (or didn't agree) on a deal that would have paid Madson $11 million a year, they agreed (this time for real) on a contract that will pay Jonathan Papelbon a little more than $12 million a year.

Papelbon has a deal with the Phillies, sources confirmed to CBSSports.com on Friday afternoon. He'll get $50 million for four years, with a vesting option for a fifth year.

The Phillies get a soon-to-be 31-year-old closer who has more than just survived in the American League East, with 219 saves for the Red Sox over the last six years (third in baseball behind Francisco Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera). They get a guy who has closed out a World Series, a guy coming off a strong year.

They get a guy who will go into the season as the no-doubt closer . . . something Madson never did in nine full seasons in Philadelphia.

Remember, when Brad Lidge was hurt last spring, the Phillies didn't hand Madson the ninth inning. They left him in the eighth inning, and put Jose Contreras in the ninth -- until Contreras got hurt.

Madson eventually proved he could handle the job. He ended up with 32 saves (one more than Papelbon), and the Phillies felt comfortable enough to try to bring him back.

Depending on who you want to believe, they may even have offered him $44 million for four years, a deal that sources close to Madson said he agreed to. Phillies sources insisted that no such deal was ever made.

We may never know the full truth. We do know that the Phillies, who had already been talking to Papelbon even as they negotiated with Madson, eventually decided to sign the ex-Red Sox closer instead.

We also know that Papelbon is a safer bet than Madson, basically the same age and with a much longer and better track record as a closer. Madson looked good in 2011, but in a role where success is often a year-to-year thing, it's very easy to say you'd rather have Papelbon.

The Red Sox would have rather kept him, and now they're left without a closer. They'll be in on Madson, and also Heath Bell, who are the top two remaining closers on the market.

Madson is left without a deal. He'll have interest from the Red Sox, and also possibly from the Rangers, Nationals and others. There are lots of closers available (Rodriguez is also on the market), and plenty of teams that could use one.

Meanwhile, the Phillies have done what they always do, what they did last winter when they signed Cliff Lee, what they did when they traded for Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence.

They spent big, and they went out and got the best guy out there.

It doesn't guarantee that they'll win, obviously not. Putting Halladay and Lee together in a dream rotation didn't guarantee the Phillies a title, either.

It does get their offseason off to a flying -- and typical -- start. They still need to find a shortstop (retaining incumbent Jimmy Rollins is their obvious preference), and they'd still like to find an outfield bat (Michael Cuddyer seems to be the top choice, although not at his current asking price).

But finding a closer was general manager Ruben Amaro's top task this winter.

It cost him a lot. It wasn't at all simple.

But in the end, he got the best one available.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:38 pm

No Beltran, no Pence, but Phils want relievers

Yes, the Phillies made an effort for Carlos Beltran, before backing down and allowing him to go to the Giants. Yes, the Phillies talked to the Astros about Hunter Pence, although it appears now that nothing will happen, and the Astros will look to deal Pence in the winter, instead.

And as usual, the Phillies' biggest acquisition this month might well be a pitcher.

The Phillies remain among the teams most interested in Padres relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams, although like others they continue to complain about the high prices. The Phils have looked at the Orioles and other teams, as well, in hopes of finding bullpen help.

I know, the Phillies bullpen has been among the most successful in the game this year. Their three blown saves are the fewest in the majors, and only one of the three came in the ninth inning. And after playing much of the year with three closers (Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras) on the disabled list, the Phillies now have Madson and Lidge back on the active roster.

Fine. But fast-forward to October, because the Phillies are all about October.

Do you feel comfortable with Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo pitching late in games in the playoffs? Are you sure about Madson as your playoff closer? Will Lidge be healthy and strong enough to help?

People who talk to the Phillies say they're asking all of those questions themselves, and that the answer can be seen in their efforts on the trade market.

The Phillies will likely still look to acquire a right-handed hitter, but it may well be more of a platoon bat off the bench. That could change, obviously, depending on who is available, and it would be interesting to see if the Phillies went after Carlos Quentin, if the White Sox really make him available.

The Phillies didn't get Beltran, and they almost certainly won't get Pence. Don't be surprised if they end up with a reliever.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 8:49 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 8:58 pm

No closers were no problem for Phils

For a while, the Phillies had three closers on the disabled list. Now, with Brad Lidge back, they have three closers on the active roster.

That's Lidge, who went into the year as the closer; Ryan Madson, who eventually took over as the closer; and Antonio Bastardo, who filled in when everyone else was hurt. Jose Contreras, the other closer, remains on the DL.

But here's what's amazing: With all of that, the Phillies have had just one ninth-inning blown save this season (by Madson, on June 9 against the Cubs). The Phillies have just three blown saves total, the fewest in baseball.

Compare that to the Cardinals, who have nine ninth-inning blown saves. Or compare it to the White Sox and Blue Jays, with seven apiece.

The only teams that have yet to have a ninth-inning blown save this year are the Tigers, Red Sox and Pirates. And there should be an asterisk next to the Red Sox, because closer Jonathan Papelbon blew a four-run ninth-inning lead on June 4 against the A's but wasn't charged with a blown save because it wasn't a save situation.

Posted on: July 15, 2011 7:37 pm

Will Phils again trade for a pitcher?

NEW YORK -- The Phillies opened the second half with two starting position players on the disabled list, and one closer returning from the DL.

So what does that mean for the Phils' trade plans as the July 31 deadline approaches?

Good question, but here's one thing worth remembering: Every year, it seems that manager Charlie Manuel says the Phillies need another hitter. And every year, general manager Ruben Amaro trades for a pitcher.

So even with Ryan Madson returning from the DL, and even with the chance that Jose Contreras may be back, too, it would surprise no one if the Phillies go after someone like Padres closer Heath Bell.

The Phillies have made a midseason trade for a starting pitcher each of the last five years (Jamie Moyer, Kyle Lohse, Joe Blanton, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt), but with Oswalt on the way back from the DL to join Roy Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamels in the rotation, that seems significantly less likely this year.

But don't the pitching-strong Phillies need another bat?

They might, and more specifically they could use a right-handed bat. But Phillies people will remind you that they haven't had their full lineup together very often this year, and that while Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco begin the second half on the DL, neither is expected to be out very long.

Phillies people even suggest that with Madson already back and with Polanco, Victorino and Oswalt soon to follow, they may not need to make any moves. They remind you that money is tight.

History tells you they always make a move.

And history tells you that they usually choose pitchers over hitters.


Polanco, who went on the DL Friday with lower back inflammation, could return as soon as next Wednesday. The Phillies were able to backdate the DL posting by 10 days (to when Polanco last played), and he said Friday that he was able to avoid getting a shot in his back.

"I'm just going to rest it," Polanco said.

Manuel said that Madson won't immediately return to his role as closer. The plan is to use him in the seventh or eighth inning the first time or two. Pitching coach Rich Dubee told reporters that Madson won't be used on back-to-back days, for now.

The Phillies have had three closers hurt this year (Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras, in addition to Madson), but they've had just three blown saves. And only one of those was in the ninth inning (Madson, on June 9).

Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:29 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 8:12 pm

Phils put Madson on DL

The Phillies weren't sure Ryan Madson could close.

They wanted Brad Lidge to pitch the ninth inning. Then Lidge got hurt, and they chose Jose Contreras over Madson.

Then Contreras got hurt, and Madson showed he could handle it.

Now Madson is hurt.

The Phillies put Madson on the disabled list Tuesday with a right hand contusion, which means their DL now includes three closers -- and their active roster includes none.

Andrew Carpenter was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Madson's place on the roster.

Madson hasn't pitched since June 18, but the Phillies haven't had a ninth-inning save opportunity since June 12 (when Madson recorded his 15th save in 16 chances this year). Of the pitchers on the Phillies' active roster, only Antonio Bastardo has a save this year (he has two).

Manager Charlie Manuel told reporters that he would use either Bastardo or Michael Stutes to close, but that Bastardo would likely get more of the chances. Manuel also told reporters that Madson may return from the DL as soon as next Monday.
Posted on: June 10, 2011 8:41 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 10:16 pm

After first blown save, how will Madson react?

Ryan Madson was perfect in his first 14 save opportunities for the Phillies this year. There was justified talk that Madson had finally adapted to pitching the ninth inning and had proved that he can close.

But even as he was doing it, some people in the Phillies organization were asking how Madson would react when he inevitably did have a blown save. How would he bounce back?

We'll find out now. Madson's first blown save of the year came Thursday night, on a Geovany Soto home run.

How will he bounce back? Chad Durbin, who spent the last three years with Madson in the Phillies bullpen, thinks he'll do just fine.

"Absolutely," said Durbin, who is now with the Indians but follows the Phillies as closely as he can. "He can close in any division. I think that comes with throwing the eighth inning in the playoffs. The eighth inning in the playoffs is like closing in the regular season.

"He's at the point now that he wants the ball in that situation. He'll be fine."

The Phillies had a ninth-inning save situation Friday night, but Madson didn't pitch, presumably because he had worked four times in the last five days. Manager Charlie Manuel split the ninth inning between Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo instead, and the Phillies beat the Cubs, 7-5.
Posted on: May 20, 2011 10:54 pm

Lidge on fast track back to Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- Perhaps surprisingly, the ninth inning has been the least of the Phillies' worries this season.

First Jose Contreras filled in for the injured Brad Lidge, and he was perfect. Then Contreras got hurt, Ryan Madson filled in, and he's been just as perfect.

Now Contreras is on his way back.

And so, against all odds, is Lidge.

His shoulder injury sounded ominous when he went on the disabled list in the final week of spring training. Phillies people wondered if he'd pitch at all this season.

But Lidge will head to Florida on Sunday, and he said Friday night that he may be only 2-3 weeks from rejoining the Phillies' bullpen. Even he seems surprised by how good he feels, and how fast he may be coming back.

"I can tell you I feel very strong," he said. "I can tell you I haven't felt this strong in a long time."

At this point, no matter how good Lidge feels, it's hard to believe the Phillies would go away from using Madson as the closer. He's 8-for-8 in saves, and has a 0.50 ERA in 18 appearances.

He also has a walk-in song that fits his situation perfectly: Journey's "Don't stop believin'."
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