I have always been a huge Ryan Madson fan, dating back to when he was coming up through the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. I met him a few times at games, Phillies Phestivals (for ALS), and during the Phillies playoff run at an autograph signing, which only made me a bigger fan (awesome personality).
I was extremely excited when the KC Royals signed Madson to a minor league deal this offseason. The Royals aren’t paying him much and if he can come back to pitch anything remotely like the way he pitched with the Phillies, the Royals will have found a diamond in the rough.
Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star interviewed Madson on Sunday following his live batting practice session. It was the first time he had really faced hitters since his final season in Philly back in 2011.
He is what I learned from the article (and feel free to click the link above and read it):
- Madson now has five kids.
- When his four year deal with the Phillies in the offseason following the 2011 season fell through, Madson considered it the worst day of his life.
- Money was left on the table, as he signed for less than $9 million with Cincinnati, though he never threw a pitch for the Reds. Tommy John surgery happened.
- Then it was off to the LA Angels for less than $4 million. He made one rehab appearance with the Angels. He couldn’t throw anymore without pain in his arm by the summer of 2013. His fastball topped the mid 80s and the Angels released him.
- Madson did not pitch at all in 2014. He did not love baseball anymore, despite finally finding a place that ended the pain in his arm. He just helped a high school kid back home in California, which gave him the itch to play again.
- Madson impressed EVERYONE on Sunday during his session. His change up was filthy (as always) and his fastball had more life than the Royals expected. Oh and he also had more control than was to be expected.
- Cam Gallagher had the luxury of catching Madson.
- Madson now weighs around 230, quite a bit more than he did during his Phillies days. Guess he isn’t the tall, skinny kid anymore. Even former teammate Joe Blanton didn’t recognize him.
More new and notes:
- My fellow writer over at Kings of Kauffman Hunter Samuels discusses Erik Kratz and his case to be the Royals backup catcher in 2015. Are you seeing the Phillies theme?
- Edinson Volquez is looking forward to having Salvador Perez catch him. The quote I love from the article, as Volquez describes Perez: “He’s like a tornado”.
- Manager Ned Yost is targeting June for Kris Medlen to help the Royals. I CAN NOT wait. I am just hoping he makes a rehab start in Wilmington (considering he pitched there as an opponent in the Atlanta farm system). He will start throwing bullpens by the middle of March (hopefully I’ll see him throw when I am there).