Found November 28, 2012 on
Monkey with a Halo:
So you want Ryan Madson to be the new Angels closer, eh? Well, I suppose that makes some sense. He does have experience in the role, if your into that sort of thing, and he has a more established track record that incumbent closer Ernesto Frieri. Such a move would free up Frieri to ease into the high leverage innings more as a setup man. It's a good idea. Not a great idea, but good enough.
You know what is a great idea? This:
I don't want to get locked into the idea that there's one guy that pitches the ninth, it's a combination of guys that get the last nine outs.
This is the sort of bullpen arrangement I've been begging the Halos, and really all teams, to adopt for years. But that quote is not from me. It is from Jerry Dipoto, who has some actual say in such matters. What he's basically proposing is having two or three guys he trusts in high leverage spots and deploying them on a case-by-case basis rather than by some predefined construct based solely on what inning it is.
It really isn't a crazy idea either. In fact, the Angels have used a similar arrangement in the past under Scioscia, back in the heyday of one Scot Shields. Shields was mostly known for being one of the best setup men of all time. However, he wasn't used exclusively in the eighth inning as the setup label might suggest. Out of his 697 career innings, 122.2 came in the seventh inning and another 153 came in the sixth inning or earlier (it should be noted that some of those innings came from the 14 career starts Shields made in his career). You see, Shields was less of a setup man for Mike Scioscia and more of a fireman. If the situation was particularly dire or the matchup was ideal, Scioscia seldom hesitated to call on Shields regardless of the inning. Nor was he afraid to extend Shields for more than three outs.
With his strong strikeout rate, decent walk rate, groundball tendencies, almost identical platoon splits and famous rubber arm, Shields was the ideal pitcher for the role. There was no high leverage situation that he wasn't right for. Ever since his arm finally broke down, the Angels have been looking for a suitable replacement, and really their bullpen hasn't been any good since. But that might all be about to change with the signing of Ryan Madson.
If you look at the two, and I mean that literally, they are eerily similar. Both are tall lanky pitchers who come at hitters like flurry of knees and elbows. They both are wannabe-starters that stumbled into a wildly successful career as a reliever. But where they really appear to be baseball dopplegangers is in their statistics as relievers:
Batters faced per game
Factor in that Shields' numbers are tainted a bit by the final two injury plagued years of his career, and you can see just how comparable the two are. If anything, Madson is a little better, or at least for this role.
Madson doesn't have quite the strikeout rate, but issues fewer walks, thus making him less prone to self-inflicted wounds which is an important characteristic to have when routinely entering the game with runners already in scoring position. It is precisely why the command-challenged Frieri isn't a candidate for the gig. Really the only are where Madson is lacking is that rubber arm. As the batters faced per appearance shows, Madson was not often asked to go more than one inning and he hasn't pitched more than 60.2 innings in his last two seasons. And, of course, there's that whole Tommy John surgery thing that is going to limit his durability even further.
So Madson isn't quite perfect as the evolutionary Scot Shields, but he's close when he is performing at the top of his abilities. When that will be remains to be seen since he is still rehabbing from his elbow surgery. But perhaps that will work into the Angels' favor as they have a built in excuse to use him as something other than the close sicne he needs to "prove he's healthy." By the time he shakes off the rust (which will hopefully happen quickly), the Halos can keep him in this fireman role under the premise of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." That means Ernie Frieri will have to hold up his end of the bargain as the primary closer though so that management doesn't panic and blow up their experiment.
The real trick though might be getting Scioscia to buy into the plan, assuming Dipoto doesn't just force him to do it, that is. But what better way to convince someone of something than by making them think it was their idea? Hey, Sosh, remember how much you liked Shields and how you used him? Yeah, Madson's pretty much the same dude, what do you think we should do with him?
Clever. Clever like a fox. Now let's just hope that fox's elbow heals up quick to make this plan viable.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Angels moved Tuesday to address the weakness that kept them out of the playoffs, reaching an agreement with former Philadelphia Phillies closer Ryan Madson, according to reports.
An Angels spokesman reached Tuesday afternoon said theres nothing yet to confirm, but reports said the sides have struck a one-year deal, a nod to the fact Madson is less than eight months removed from...
Ryan Madson agreed to a one-year deal on Wednesday with the Los Angeles Angels, who believe the right-handed reliever will make a strong comeback from Tommy John surgery.
The longtime Philadelphia reliever missed all of last season with the Cincinnati Reds, who signed him in January after a stellar performance in 2011 with the Phillies. He underwent surgery in April on a torn ligament...
Hoping a reliever coming off "Tommy John" surgery can help their beleaguered bullpen, the Los Angeles Angels reached a one-year contract agreement with free agent Ryan Madson, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday. Reports from the Los Angeles Times and Yahoo Sports indicated that the contract would include a low guaranteed salary plus incentives. Madson, 32, saved...
An interesting blurb in Todd Zolecki's column on Phillies.com tonight: the Phillies were interested in a reunion with former set-up man Ryan Madson. However, the reunion is looking less and less likely. Madson, who never threw a pitch in 2012 and is a free agent, appears to be headed elsewhere:
The Phillies had been interested in bringing back Ryan Madson as a setup...
The Angels finalized the signing of right-hander Ryan Madson to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. Madson passed a physical, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday, and is projected to replace Ernesto Frieri as the Angels' closer next season if he's healthy. The deal called for an additional $2.5 million in roster bonuses and $1 million based on games finished, meaning...
Former Reds closer Ryan Madson (can we call him that?) has agreed to terms with a new team: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, writes ESPN writer Jerry Crasnick. The move means the Phillies must continue to look for eighth inning help. The report does not have the terms of the deal.
What the Phillies could not offer Madson was a closer's job. This deal appears to be a...
The Angels have moved to address a weakness that contributed to their falling short of the playoffs, reaching a contract agreement with former Philadelphia Phillies closer Ryan Madson.
Madson, 32, will earn a base salary and could make more in incentives, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. The deal is contingent on Madson's passing a physical examination...
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are reportedly close to signing free agent closer Ryan Madson to a one-year deal. The 32-year old Madson, who didn't throw a pitch in 2012 following Tommy John surgery after signing a one-year deal with the Reds during the winter, will be the sixth different full-time Angels closer in the last six seasons. The back of the Anaheim bullpen has...
At the start of last offseason, Ryan Madson had big dreams. For a time, it appeared he was on the verge of signing a big four-year contract. He didn’t, ultimately having to settle for a one-year contract, and then he missed that one year in its entirety after sustaining a torn UCL. Tommy John surgery completely wiped out Madson’s 2012.
The Angels had big dreams, too. They signed...
The November 29th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Madson's contract details, Dipoto vows to add more bullpen depth, Fujikawa prefers the Angels and much more...
The Story: The contract details for Ryan Madson have him earning $3.5 million in base salary with another $2.5 in possible incentives.
The Monkey Says: That's a...
The Los Angeles Angels will look back on 2012 as a grace disappointment, especially after signing Albert Pujols and acquiring Zack Greinke, only to miss out on the playoffs altogether. Blowing 22 saves certainly did not help, and the Angels are acting quickly to repair the back end of their bullpen, looking to sign Ryan Madson to replace Ernesto Frieri as the team’s closer for...
With some free-agent contracts, the fine print can be revealing.
Right-hander Ryan Madson agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal Wednesday with the Los Angeles Angels. But Madson can earn as much as $7 million if he remains healthy and emerges as the Angels’ closer.
His contract includes five roster bonuses that could add up to $2.5 million and four bonuses for games...
The November 27th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Angels worried about Dodgers signing Greinke, considering Ryan Madson, trade value rankings and much more...
The Story: The Angels view the Dodgers as their biggest threat to re-signing Zack Greinke.
The Monkey Says: I'm not buying it. The Dodgers already have too many pitchers...
Now that the Los Angeles Angels have reached an agreement with
right-hander Ryan Madson the team is letting other clubs know that former
closer Jordan Walden is “very available,” reports Jayson Stark of ESPN.
In wake of Ryan Madson deal, #Angels were letting clubs know today that Jordan Walden is very available.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 28, 2012
After missing out on one option Ryan Madson joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Phillies still need to fill a key 8th inning role in the bullpen. The Phillies are turning to a trade to try to accomplish this goal. According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly, the Phillies are in active trade talks with the Houston Astros to acquire their closer Wilton Lopez.