Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mad About Madson

Who is the 8th inning setup man that the Phillies have been so desperately hunting this offseason? Well, he's been on the roster all along...Ryan Madson. I have recently read, due to the fact that the Phils struck out on the bidding of some of the higher quality relief pitchers and have yet to trade Donut-Eater away for bullpen help, that Gillick and company are going into the 2007 season with Madson in mind as the coveted setup man. Big mistake!

Sure I will be rooting for Mad-Dog to regain his '04 form (9-3 77 innings 2.34 ERA), which was also his rookie campaign. However, I do not think he can recapture that magic that made him so effective that season. See, Madson is a 2 pitch pitcher, quality change-up and fastball. The batters weren't prepared for the rookie Madson in '04, but with each season after have become accustomed to smacking the crap outta him ('05- 4.14 ERA and '06- 5.70 ERA). I do look for a slight improvement this season though, as he gets to concentrate solely on relieving.

So what does this mean for our bullpen? The forecast isn't good. The closer, Gordon, is good but fragile. Lefty- Matt Smith looks good, but is young and unproven. Gas-Can Geoff Geary was the bullpen savior last year and hopefully can repeat his success. Rule 5 picks Jim Ed Warden and Alfredo Simon might end up being a steal or a waste of time. Eude Brito will be in the mix, but he's nothing more than a long man. Brian Sanches and Clay Condrey have been toiling in the minors and will probably get periodic looks throughout the season, but neither are all that good. The recent addition of the 6-fingered gut-bumping Antonio Alfonseca doesn't exactly help me sleep at night. Basically, we still desperately need a setup, as Madson is not the answer, and neither is anyone else from that group.

~Carson

17 comments:

Bob D said...

My opinion is that Madson will improve this year, however he should be the 6th/7th inning guy. Geary is probably better and is definitely and pleasantly better than all the others. Alfonseco we have no idea what we have there. He is a risk but by the end of spring we will see if he can contribute. Smith I agree young, inexperienced, and good. The others Condrey and Sanches will likely bounce around as needed from AAA to the Phils. Rule 5: Simon seems to be very ineffective, he may throw 95mph but he has trouble with AAA batters. I do not see him contributing. Jim Ed Warden, he may be a steal. He throws from different angles gives a different look and has been very successful. I feel he will be the one who may step up and have a very good year. Anderson Garcia is another sleeper who throws hard like Simon but seems to know how to pitch from what I read about him. I also expect another arm to be brought in prior to the season and that maybe the setup guy we need.
Two other guys who could come in are Castro and Sergovia they are real prospects but are likely to be used as starters not relievers. But if the need came along they will be called, and should excell.

goDuke said...

I think you have to remember that Madson is still probably a better option then Arthur Rhodes. Dusty Rhodes (the old wrestler) is probably a better option then Arthur, and I don't even know if he's still alive.

furiousBall said...

I definitely like Madson a lot more than Rhodes. I'd like to see his arm conserved a little better this year.

GM-Carson said...

Bob D- thanks for your bullpen breakdown. One prospect that has a shot at the pen- Biscenious.

GoDuke- Dusty Rhoads is old and possibly dead, but his son GoldDust would still probably be a better option than Arthur Rhodes.

How great would the addition of Otsuka (Rangers) be to the bullpen?

GM-Carson said...

Rumors and Tid-Bits:

There are indications the Phillies want to get something done with Chase Utley before he gets anywhere close to free agency. It would not be a surprise to see the Phils buy out his arbitration years this winter with at least a four-year contract. But while Utley would like to reach an agreement, he has other things to think about - such as the wedding and how there is less than a month before he arrives in Clearwater.

Pirates are still looking to get Chad Tracy and Adam LaRoche. 1 would be nice, both would be really nice! They've offered Brian Lawrence a deal, and should know shortly if he'll be the right-hander in the rotation.

Mets are considering signing Ruben Sierra...that's worse than Karim Garcia!

Buccos still interested in Trot Nixon, and could try to deal for Geoff Jenkins or Jacque Jones...neither all that enticing.

Corey said...

of all the choices, the correct one for setup man is none of them!!! crap, if you can close by committee, you can setup by committee. problem is, the chairman of that committee is r-tard manuel...

GoldDust is a homosexual...not that there is anything wrong with that...

i don't know jim ed warden, but i like his hillbilly name.

GM-Carson said...

Jim Ed Warden is a terrific hillbilly name. I really hope he makes the squad.

Over the past decade the bullpen has transformed into this rigid role system. I understand the purpose of a closer in essence, but to be only an 8th inning, or 5th inning, or 21st inning pitcher is just getting ridiculous. If you're in the bullpen, your ass should be ready to come and pitch at any moment in the game, regardless of the 2nd pitch of the 1st inning or with 2 strikes and 2 outs in the 9th.

Los said...

After all the Phils did to exclude him out of any trades a few years ago, I sincerely HOPE that Madsen plays better this season ... not holding my breath, though.

The Rev said...

Ryan Madson should never pitch in any inning except the 8th inning.

In fact, if Charlie Manuel pitches Ryan Madson in an inning that isn't the 8th inning, he should be fined by the organization.

Bob D said...

I missed Brito as a possible longman and Yoel Hernandez who probably will start out in AAA. Hernandez was on the verge of breaking into the pen last year but got injured. Hopefully he will rebound and become a potential closer again. Non roster invitees include: Kane Davis, Jeff Farnsworth, Joe Bisenius, and Ryan Cameron.

BenJah said...

i agree with the reverend! madson is a great CANDIDATE for the 8th inning. he's been good there before (in fact, really good). it doesn't matter that he was exposed as a starter b/c he has excelled as a reliever when used exclusively in that role.

btw, i like that you guys have different name headings now

BloodStripes said...

I think Madson is a decent choice. There is upside left in the young man and given the oppurtunity he may well kill it. I really hope so amyway. Starting the season with a specific role in mind should help his cause instead of shifting around like last season. Of course as long as he does well at it.

das411 said...

I have a feeling COndrey will step up at this season's Geoff Geary, while Geary and Madson bounce around between the 6th and 7th innings as necessary. The key in my eyes is whether Warden or Bisenius emerges at the 2007 Phils' version of 2004 Ryan Madson...

ned said...

If you are likely to be facing Beltran, Delgado, Wright and Alou in the 8th inning, why not pitch your "closer" there and save Madson for the mop job.

GM-Carson said...

Ned- you can't pitch your "closer" in the 8th then a different dude in the 9th, that just defies logic...j/k.

*Something went wrong with our "hit" counter...I may have to go get a new one.

GM-Carson said...

Just read that the Phils claimed left-handed hitting infielder Greg Dobbs off waivers from the M's. Gillick has a love affair with Seattle...it's a bit annoying.

This guy is great to keep in Ottawa. Actually he's probably a better bench option than that no-talent ass-clown Danny Sandoval.

GM-Carson said...

Rowand got 1 year 4.35...we could do better, but we could do worse. He still hasn't found his shoulders though.