Yesterday I participated in an online chat with Ryan Madson hosted by mlb.com. It wasn’t that long or in-depth, but it did provide some insight on how Madson feels going into the season. There hasn’t been much talk directly from players this off season so it’s interesting to get their take on some of the topics we discuss. It seems like Madson is serious about winning a spot in the rotation and isn’t too concerned about his conditioning. Unfortunately for him, it looks like the cards are not in his favor and he’ll have to continue at his relieving position. Charlie Manuel was recently quoted as saying "he’s going to have to stay there for right now." Still, it begs the question: where is Madson more valuable – starting or relieving?
Madson also feels that Jimmy Rollins will step up and be the team leader. JRoll has a lot of pressure on him this year; not the least of which will come from continuing his hitting streak and representing his country in the WBC. Madson himself could also have a part to play in leading the young club - performing well as a starter would certaintly help.
Here’s what else Ryan Madson had to say:
…on overuse last season
"I didn’t feel overused. The everyday grind got to me mentally moreso than physically. It was the most appearances I’d ever had in my career…Just the experience of last year’s season has given me what I need to stay fresh throughout the coming year."
"I feel like if I go into spring training and get back into my routine as a starter, I think I have a good shot…that’s what I came up through the minors doing. But wherever help is needed, I will be more than happy to do."
…on team leadership
"With Jimmy Rollins in a long-term contract, he will be a big part in the leadership on the team."
…on pitching coach Rich Dubee
"Rich has a good approach with his pitchers. He prepares us well and lets us be ourselves."
…on Pat Gillick
"I met Pat Gillick today for the first time. He seems to be a very knowledge [sic] baseball guy and I look forward to working with him."
…on the new wall
"Any change to the LF wall is a good change. It will give us a little more piece of mind when we’re out there."
"Tony Luke’s. Definitely."
…on staying in Philly
"I’d love to be here in Philly for the next five years."