Phillies Player Review 2011: Ryan Madson

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 24, 2011 10:08 AM | Comments: 28
2011 Player Review, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

(PHOTO: NJ.com)

In 2011, Ryan Madson proved he could be a closer. For years, many wondered if he could handle the ninth-inning duties, as his mental game came under fire because of some poor outings filling in for Brad Lidge in years prior. He shut up the naysayers and then some.

And all of this almost didn’t happen. Jose Contreras began the year as the closer, saving five games early on before dealing with elbow troubles that would keep him sidelined for most of the season. Madson took over and took control.

Madson saved 32 games and blew just two opportunities as the primary closer for the first time in his career. He also managed to stay healthy through most of the year. If you’ll recall, his 2010 season was marred by a broken toe he suffered after kicking a chair in the clubhouse. Not a smart move. This past year, he refrained from such actions, but did go down for about three weeks after a batted ball struck him on his pitching hand. It was a fluke injury and one that did not harm him following the DL stint.

Compared to 2010, it wasn’t quite as dominant a season for Madson. His K/9 dipped from 10.9 to 9.2 and his BB/9 rose slightly from 2.2 to 2.4. However, it was almost impossible to do any sort of damage against him. In 60 2/3 innings, Madson allowed only two home runs and overall, just 16 earned runs for a 2.37 ERA.

Keeping the ball from leaving the ballpark was his specialty, and is what set him apart from most other closers. Of relievers with at least 30 saves, Madson and Joel Hanrahan of the Pirates were the only two pitchers in baseball to allow two home runs or less in 2011. And they say Citizens Bank Park is a hitters paradise! Of relief pitchers with at least 25 saves, Madson joined John Axford and Jose Valverde as the only ninth-inning guys with two blown saves or less. And, of RP’s with a K/9 ratio of 9 or more and a BB/9 of 2.5 or less, only J.J Putz recorded more saves.

And really, there is only one game that stands out as a negative for Madson, one of his two blown saves on the season. ON August 19 against the Washington Nationals, Madson entered the game with a two-run lead and three outs to go. He would get shelled for six runs on five hits and one walk, giving up a walk-off Grand Slam to Ryan Zimmerman. That was one of only two games in 2011 that Madson allowed more than one earned run.

For what it’s worth, Madson always holds himself accountable and is one of the friendliest players with the media in the Phillies clubhouse. If an outing doesn’t go his way, he’s usually the first to admit it. However, that didn’t happen very often this year. And when things are going right for a closer, it’s better when he’s not saying much.

Needless to say, it was an excellent 2011 season for Ryan Madson. He took the next step in his career, becoming one of the top closers in baseball, finally shedding the belief that he was better-built for a set-up role. Madson was certainly the anchor of what was otherwise a comsi-comsa bullpen. No more Bridging to Lidge, no more waiting behind the Big Truck, no sharing of the duties with up-and-comer Bastardo. Ryan Madson took over and made it count. The only question left for Madson now is, where will he be next year?

Phillies Nation believes he should be here – that he’s more important to the franchise than Jimmy Rollins.


Grade: 9.3/10 – It wasn’t a perfect year, but it was pretty close. The starters helped keep him fresh throughout, but when the ninth-inning came and Madson pitched, it normally ended well.

Tuesday: Antonio Bastardo

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1709 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Right after the 2008 WS, I decided to buy a new jersey and I was between Lidge and Madson. I went for the Madson jersey, even though everyone was saying his days as a Phillie were numbered and he was just a setup guy.

    Then he signed a 3-year deal and became our closer. Boom.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I haven’t bought a player jersey since McNabb’s Eagles jersey . …. i own a plain Phillies and a plain Flyers … and 95% of sports t-shirts I have don’t have a player on the back … they get traded too often, etc . . . and then you can’t wear them anymore, unless they’re an all-time great … (Dawkins)

    or like my Phillies, Starter brand DAULTON #10 shirt … from way back in the day

    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      My buddy got a Cliff Lee 34 shirsey the day before he got traded to Seattle. Still has the tags on it. I told him not to mess with it. Keep the tags on it.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I actually heard a LOT of trade Cliff Lee chatter over the weekend in various places…. talk radio and the bar … hhmmmm???

  • Posts: 0 phil

    The phillies aren’t trading cliff lee anywhere…that is just stupid. Anyone saying that is more dumb than the people saying we should have traded hamels instead of happ.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I don’t think it will happen anytime soon . . . . but I would be surprised if Cliff Lee finishes that 5 year deal in Philadelphia .. Howard’s contract isn’t tradeable, but Lee’s is …

    Again, I don’t think it would-or should happen anytime soon, but in his last season here I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lee traded to a contender for cheaper players

  • Posts: 5519 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Before even thinking of trading Lee, I’d like to see the F.O. make the extension offer to Hamels and gage his reaction. Hopefully he is happy and comes to an agreement.

    If Cole’s agent seems cold to it, wants to play hard ball, or turns it down, then you know he wants to test the FA waters. In that case, Lee is not the trade chip, Hamels is.

    This wasn’t my idea, I read it elsewhere, but I’ve been convinced it is the best course of action.


    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      That would mean that Hamels would be traded in 2012, which -regardless of his agent/demands- seems counterproductive to our success next year.

      • Posts: 5519 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        I was playing along with Don and the “trade Cliff Lee” thing. I’m saying if Ruben decides we are “pitching rich” and wants to use that to obtain a young power bat, we should really make sure Cole is going to sign before trading Lee.

  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    After two surgeries this offseason, I would think that Cole Hamels will be willing to get a deal done with the Phils. Just my opinion.

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Those Hamels surgeries were minor. But, I know for a fact he and his wife love it here and people have told me he just wants a fair market deal. Doesn’t seem like he wants to break the bank and uprooting his new family doesn’t seem like something he wants to do.

    I think they’ll look into a long term deal. You can go $14 million the first year (which is basically what he’ll get in ARB) and then $16 M, $18M, $18M, $20M = 5 years, $86 million. Seems fair to me.

    • Posts: 5519 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I hope you are right. That would be ideal. I just don’t want to entertain trading Lee until we know this first.

  • Posts: 1099 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    How does a post about Ryan Madson’s season turn into a trade Lee or Hamels bull sht. RAJ is not going to trade away what he built, I imagine it is going to be hard for RAJ nt sot to pick up Little Roys option. But he does not seem to be so loyal to the bull pen guys like Madson, if he can get him for three years that will be his offer take it or leave it and Boris will get some team to give him five or six

    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      Five or six? That’s nuts. Soriano, who was the best FA closer last offseason got THREE years, and from the Yankees. Nobody is giving relievers more than 3 years these days (I think).

  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Madson is as good as gone. :Papelbon would be a very worthy replacement.

  • Posts: 31 Gavin

    Avatar of Gavin

    You don’t have to trade someone to get a good bat. I’ve seen enough names last 2 weeks or so who would fit the Phillies and don’t need a trade.
    Maybe you can trade Lee in a few years when he’s past his best years, but not now.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    I wouldnt trade Lee so quick. Are we going to do him dirty like that yet again? I mean the guy gave the Yankees the middle finger to come here, gave up millions, to come here. Just to be traded yet again? It wouldnt be fair to Lee, and it would send a strong message to any potential FA candidates in the future.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I don’t think anyone is saying to trade him now … but i’d be surprised if he finishes that contract in Philadelphia …. especially towards the end of it, we’ll need offense (Vic, and Ruiz are FA soon).. Utley’s bum-legs.. etc.. and not much offense down on the farm ..

    I should’ve never thought 3 years ahead today …

  • Posts: 2071 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    I too think that Madson will leave, just my opinion. Money is greener and the team will get along without him just OK.

    • Posts: 0 Dave Lerch

      I agree regarding Madson. I think we can find someone just as productive for a lot less than he will be offered on the free agent market.
      I think the same about Rollins. I think it’s time for him to go. We can find someone to fill the defensive gap until we can come up with a permanent fix. He is on the downside and we need a reliable lead off man with a good on base percentage and situation hitter. He doesn’t do any of that and will only continue to decline. Save money on Madson, Ibanez,Rollins,Lidge and go after some offense at Third base, shortstop and insert Mayberry in left field and bring someone up to play first base.

  • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    Seriously The words Trade and Lee and Hamels are in the same sentence? I sure hope that is a joke, if not we have some Phillies fans who need a check -up. Get real people. Its amazing how losing in the NLDS will send everyone into a tail spin. The offense sucks, blah blah blah. People also forgetting that the Phillies offense did score more runs than any other NL team in the 2nd half of the season. The problem was they Cards Pitching matched up well, combining that with a slump that hit at the worst possible time. Can we PLEASE RELAX! The Phillies do not suck. As for find a “replacement” for Madson. I doubt the Red Sox will not re-sign Papelbon. That would leave us with Heath Bell? Ok, so you want to sign Heath Bell who is 34 instead of Madson who is only getting better and is only 31?

    • Posts: 5519 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      “Can we PLEASE RELAX!”


      Did the FO relax after winning the World Series in 2008? Are Pedro Feliz and Pat Burrell still playing for the Phillies?

      You never stop re-tooling if the opportunity presents itself, and if equal or better worth can be obtained, no player is sacred.

      • Posts: 3084 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Amen, brotha !!

      • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        Lefty, you are one of the few on here that do not need to relax. I am referring to the doom and gloom on here that are acting like the Phillies are worst team in the league. Getting rid of Cliff Lee again would be insanity, same with Hamels, but the pitching is not the problem. The team needs OFFENSE. I would not like the chances of the team at all if they dropped both Oswalt (did not pick up his option), traded Lee, plus did not get Madson or Rollins back! That would be “re-tooling”. Re-tooling is getting better.

    • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

      The problem with the offense over the past few years has been the lack of consistency. They’ve had an all or nothing offense for much of the time, and can go a couple of weeks with little production.

      They scored 3 runs or less in 78 regular season games (48%).

      There were 22 games when they only scored 2 runs, 20 games when they scored once, and they were shutout 7 times.

      • Posts: 5519 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Great research Jeff. The Phillies had a league leading team ERA of 3.02 and scored 3 runs or less in 78 games. It’s astonishing we that only lost 60 of those.

        I guess it comes down to this, average runs scored is a poor statistic to judge a team’s offensive potency.

      • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        Thats why with probably losing Oswalt, I wouldnt want to lose Lee or Hamels. The odd thing about this season is the winning percentage for the team when they scored 3/4/5 runs. They had a winning percentage of .643/.579/.800 Thats pretty scary to have a .643 winning percentage for merely scoring 3 runs, then to score 5 runs. LOL. Average runs scored is not a great stat, but I don’t think I would go as far as poor honestly. largely I think because it doesnt look at player splits, placement in the order, and trades. July and August drove up the “average” significantly. And it seems obvious why September was a bit lower (yet still higher than May and June) since they had locked up the division so early.

        April – 120 (4.6)
        May – 107 (3.6)
        June – 102 (3.7)
        July – 138 (5.5)
        August – 132 (5.3)
        September – 114 (3.8)
        October – 22 (4.4)

        Oddly enough, as a whole, pitching was the problem in the Post Season. Go figure. a Winning percentage of .643 when scoring 3 runs, and they lose a short series. Match-up. Thats most of it.

  • Posts: 0 ragnur240

    i say we should let oswalt walk but keep madson, bastardo, and stutes. worley showed that he could fill in for oswalt admirably and i don’t se why we should’n't let him continue to do so. as for trade lee or hamels, you’d have to be insane to trade lee that sends a terrible mesage to FAs everywhere. and hamels proved he can pitch he just needs more run support.

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