Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Ryan Madson is expected to make his 2013 Major League Baseball debut sometime this week. The right-hander missed the entire 2012 season after he tore a ligament in his elbow and was forced to undergo Tommy John Surgery to repair it.
Madson has played his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies. He did manage to sign a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 2012 season. However, his right-elbow injury in Spring Training never allowed him to suit up for the Reds. Madson then signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Angels prior to the 2013 season.
The 32-year-old made his first rehab appearance on Monday in Single-A. He recorded one strikeout and the save in one inning of work for the Inland Empire. There is a good chance he will pitch again for a Minor League team on Wednesday, but Los Angeles did not rule out the possibility of Madson getting brought straight up to the majors.
“You don’t want a guy down there wasting bullets if he’s ready,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “He does need a little work, but he doesn’t need to be stretched out to 30 pitches.”
Madson posted a career-high 32 saves in 34 opportunities with the Phillies in 2011. It is unknown exactly where he will fit in the bullpen, but the Angels have made it clear that reliever Ernesto Frieri is the closer for now. Frieri has posted a 1.59 earned run average with seven saves in eight opportunities this season.
Madson does not care what his role is as long as he can help the team win ball games. His biggest concern is not where he will fit in with the other relievers, but if he will even be able to get guys out.
The nine-year veteran is 47-30 with a 3.60 ERA, 547 strikeouts, 52 saves and 113 holds in 491 career games (18 starts).