Should the Los Angeles Angels Be Worried About Ryan Madson’s Elbow?

By Jason Evans

Today is the day that Angels pitchers and catchers report (cue it’s the most wonderful time of the year music). While it’s all good news with the season beginning and pitchers and catchers reporting, the Angels got some bad news on free agent import Ryan Madson.

Aug 18, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson (46) delivers to the plate during the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Madson, who hasn’t thrown since February 1 due to some discomfort in his surgically repaired elbow, looks more and more likely to start the season on the DL. Madson will be getting an MRI on that elbow, and if its clear, he can resume throwing. If not, well, he may have to have his elbow cleaned up a little bit.

This was the risk that was certainly possible when you sign a pitcher like Ryan Madson. You had to know that it was certainly a risk to sign someone coming off Tommy John. The Angels have a backup plan with Ernesto Frieri and the setup corps will be deeper with the addition of Sean Burnett as well.

Obviously, it isn’t the plan for Frieri to close again. The team would prefer to have Frieri in more of a setup role, but he’s a good fallback option, which it looks like they are going to have to cash in on, at least to start the season.

Do I think it’s something the team has to worry about? Right now, no. However, there’s a chance the MRI comes back with news that the team doesn’t want to hear. If that’s the case, the team could reach out to a free agent, but I don’t think that’s likely. Let’s see what the MRI says before we hit the panic button.