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Ryan Madson to undergo Tommy John surgery

Mar 24, 2012, 2:22 PM EDT

madson getty Getty Images

Ryan Madson returned to Cincinnati yesterday to have his ailing right elbow examined by Dr. Tim Kremchek. The results were the worst-case scenario.

According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Madson will undergo Tommy John surgery after the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow was found to be “torn off the bone.”

It’s a tough blow for the contending Reds, but even worse luck for Madson, whose market fizzled after his reported four-year, $44 million contract with the Phillies fell through. He ended up settling for a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Reds in January in hopes of testing the open market again next winter. But he’ll undoubtedly have to settle for a modest deal now.

As Ken Rosenthal of notes, left-hander Sean Marshall is now considered the favorite to close for the Reds. Aroldis Chapman was competing with Homer Bailey and Jeff Francis for the fifth spot in the starting rotation this spring, but he is now expected to move back to the bullpen.

  1. illuminatemyfate - Mar 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    wow, glad the Phils went with pap.

  2. phillyphever - Mar 24, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Man, talk about some bad luck for the guy the last couple of months.

  3. mercyflush - Mar 24, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Holy Smokes. How much $$ did Boras cost Madson I wonder? I’m guessing the Phils would have signed him for 4 years if it was 10 mil AAV or less. Now he’ll have a terrible time getting a look next year until he proves he’s healthy, and even then it wont be big money or big years.

    I hated the Paps signing but Amaro through dumb luck (for him) ended up making the better deal.

  4. metalhead65 - Mar 24, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    contrary to what you people think I am not happy at this development but not surprised as I said he would need surgery the first time he reported a “twinge” while throwing after camp opened. he had not pitched in a game or to live batters before that and we were told it was nothing to be worried about. but hey I don’t know what I am talking about right? perfectly normal for a guys arm to fall apart the opening days of camp right?

    • joshfrancis50 - Mar 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Unless you have an MD and access to Madon’s medical records, yes, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Seeing a guy have elbow trouble and rightly “predicting” that he’ll need surgery is like filling out 30 NCAA brackets and bragging to the other barflys about how you correctly picked OU to be in the Sweet 16.

      • metalhead65 - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        you do not need to be a doctor or a rocket scientest figure out something was wrong with the guy if his former team would not resign him or anybody else but the reds would give him even what the reds did. the fact he came up with a twinge on the second day of camp is a pretty good indication to me it was something to be worriede about and as it turns out it was. to bad for the reds but lucky for him he gets8.5 million for doing nothing this year. he will probably pick up and 3-5 mil. next on another 1 year deal to prove he has come back before he strikes it rich in 2014 if he has recovered.

    • cur68 - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      er…per your usual, why didn’t you just blame Dusty Baker and be done with it, metalhead? I’m not at all sure how to take your lack of blame for Dusty for this one…do you think its Dusty’s fault or not?

      • metalhead65 - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:22 PM

        since he had not yet been overused in a game I will let dusty off on this one.

      • cur68 - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:33 PM

        Well I don’t know how to react to THAT. A person comes to rely on certain things: up is above you, down, below. Sky’s blue, tofu’s for wimps, & metalhead thinks DB’s the pitcher’s Anti-Christ…you sure he didn’t look at Madson funny put the bad-touch on Madson’s arm? Might have y’know. Dusty’s got old Jobu in his back pocket.

    • okwhitefalcon - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      Cincy please welcome you’re new closer….

      Ryan Franklin!

      • cintiphil - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM

        I heard that he is back working for the birds somewhere. We can’t use him, I think you may need him to replace Lynn who is going to replace Carp.

      • metalhead65 - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

        you say that as a joke but I have waiting for that to flash across the screen all day. with jocketty’s love all of things cardinal it would not be shocking if he did sign him.

      • contraryguy - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:48 PM

        Only because Isringhausen is in the Angels camp already, right?

  5. amaninwhite - Mar 24, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Wow. Turns out not signing him was another ninja move by Amaro. I’m starting to believe.

    • areyesrn - Mar 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      I’ll never doubt RAJ again…

  6. spudchukar - Mar 24, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Tough news for Cinci. Hard to see how Marshall will be the answer, and that takes away from LOOGY opportunities.

    • zackd2 - Mar 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      Hard to see Marshall being the answer….why specifically?

      • zackd2 - Mar 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        Those who gave thumbs down please explain.
        Marshall has a high K%, decent BB%, high GB%, doesn’t give up HRs, and RHP don’t hit him well either so he’s not just a LOOGY.

      • joshfrancis50 - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        I’m with you. I’m a Reds fan and as such, perhaps unjustly optimistic, but I don’t see this as a crushing blow to the season. Marshall will step in (he’s going to be the closer next year anyway, right?) and they have Chapman to play the LOOGY.

        The financial impact to Madson is obvious, but the worse part about this for the Reds is the 8.5 million that could have been put towards an extension for BP/Votto or bringing in a more “legit” LF than Ludwick (since it’s evident they don’t believe Heisey can carry the day).

    • cintiphil - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      It is going to be tough, but we do have a couple of other guys in the pen. And maybe Chapman is over his arm troubles.

  7. mrredlegz - Mar 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Methinks my Reds got swindeled. Dude still hasn’t let go of the 4/$44 offer/non-offer from the Phils. He should have been in line for a fat payday and ended up with a one-year deal at $8.5M? Did anyone look to see who conducted his physical? Dr. Boras, perhaps? Somebody knew something was up with that elbow, but obviously, and unfortunately, it wasn’t the Reds.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Mar 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      So you are subscribing to the notion that there was some monkey business going on? Methinks you are being a bit too paranoid. Furthermore, to be inline for a future payday it would behoove Madson to have an awesome year not be sidelined after major elbow surgery. Anyway, I really feel bad for the guy. Boras overplayed his hand and cost Madson millions upon millions. Turned out good for my boys but sucks for him.

      • mrredlegz - Mar 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM

        You feel bad for the guy who “earns” $8.5M without throwing a pitch?

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:21 PM

        Nobody forced the Reds to sign him—the whole physical passing notwithstanding, either. Besides, how much is the team actually out on the deal, with insurance and all?

        But Boras screwed up with MadDog’s contract, pushing his “big payday” back another year, which now means his free agency comes after TJ surgery. Now, there’s less of a guarantee that he will get a multiyear windfall—all because Scotty screwed up. All of these megabucks contracts are shots in the dark, not just this one.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Mar 25, 2012 at 12:47 AM



    • zackd2 - Mar 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Yeah, Boras brought a doctor’s note to the table and showed the Reds that Madson was 100% and the Reds said OK and signed the contract.

    • lanflfan - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      bora$ is too smart to use himself to conduct physicals now, since I imagine he already did that a couple of times and teams (probably) figured it out. I picture him using Dr. Nick Riviera from The Simpsons.

  8. mungman69 - Mar 24, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Tough blow for the Reds. It’s a long season so anything can happen but that pitcher just lost a ton of $$$.

  9. joshfrancis50 - Mar 24, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    I read John Fay say the nature of the injury makes it look like it happened on one pitch. I believe he said Kremchek said the bleeding he saw internally suggests that it wasn’t anything chronic or a tear that gradually got worse. Sounds to me like its ust crappy luck for Madson and the Reds.

    • xmatt0926x - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      That actually seems to make the most sense. I’m a Phillies fan and was wondering how this is possible that he can go from pitching very well last season to totally torn ligament and Tommy john surgery before the next season even starts, especially since he hasn’t pitched much, if at all in the spring. It’s easy to turn everything into an episode of CSI and assume that someone somewhere knew this was about to happen and acted accordingly but in the end I bet it’s all just incredibly bad luck for one team and a near miracle for the other team that didn’t sign him. Un-friggin-believeable..

  10. cintiphil - Mar 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Well, this is just about the worst news we could get in Cinti. Now it is doubtful that Chapman will get to start, and we have a very expensive set up man on the team. Contrary to the conspiracy theory; NO One knew about this until it happened. It is the same as saying if Carpenter were traded, the Cardinals knew all along that he would get a pinched nerve, or that he would get a disc bulge, etc. That is just a lot of stuff which doesn’t hold water. These injuries happen every season to a lot of players, and no one knew, even the Reds doctors, who made the examinations before the deal was signed. Unless of course, you think the Yankees knew that Joba would get hurt on a trampoline before the season started. Then the conspiracy stuff makes perfect sense.

    • mrredlegz - Mar 24, 2012 at 10:48 PM

      I was just saying the other day……..

  11. chaseutley - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    I wonder how much bad blood there really is between Madson/Boras and the Phillies/Amaro. I’d love to see Madson find his way back home to Philly once he’s through rehabbing.

  12. johnnyb1976 - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Phillies fans think that Amaro is god and he can see the future………. About the same way they seen Andy Ried for a long time

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:30 PM

      RAJ is not God—he is merely a Ninjedi master.

  13. stevincinci - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    WTF. Didn’t this guy go through a physical before the Reds signed him. And guess who their head of doctors is. Dr. Timothy Kremchek. FIRED! One pitch my ass.

  14. contraryguy - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Whether it’s Marshall or Aroldis, or a committee, the Reds will be OK as long as it’s not Masset closing games. He had 6 blown saves last year and he wasn’t even the primary closer. Even a hint of that possibility is making me cringe.

  15. metalhead65 - Mar 24, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    again as a reds fan I do not understand the rush to make a guy who is supposed to be the best setup guy in the game into a role he has never done before. if they are not going let chapman start them give him the job. now I know it may be hard for you saber guys to understand this but as a reds fan I watch their games and listen to the ones I can’t on the radio. and in my eperiance of doing so I find he is he is more comfortable and in control if he only pitches one inning. the longer he goes the more walks and hits he gives up. why not make him the closer then? sure he would be an overpaid one but if he can let loose without worrying about anything other than letting it rip at 100mph and over then I think he will do fine. ok now comes the the thumbs down because I offended the saber police but I think I will survive.

    • mrredlegz - Mar 24, 2012 at 10:51 PM

      Apparently you’ve missed a few more games than you realize. Chappy looks great for one inning, but not two or three nights in a row. You’re crazy if you want him closing out games.

      • metalhead65 - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:21 PM

        he is fine as long as don’t have him go 2 innings 4 days in a row like dusty did last year. and what happened after that? oh yeah chapman lost all control then went the dl and was sent down to the minors untill he got it back. lesson not pitch 2 innings or more 4 days in a row. he would do fine 1 inning and no other manager but baker uses his closer 4 days in a row.

      • metalhead65 - Mar 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        so you are going to give me thumbs down for pointing out what atually happened with Chapmann last year? like it or not dusty did pitch him 4 days in a row with one of them going 3 innings. and like it or not in his next outing he lost control and was placed on the dl with a forearm strain and then sent to louisville for rehab.

      • mrredlegz - Mar 25, 2012 at 10:31 PM

        I don’t recall Chapman ever pitching 3 innings in one game, but I could be mistaken, and I’m definitely too lazy to look it up. I just don’t think anyone’s arm can take the torque/stress/strain of throwing a dozen 102+mph fastballs on a nightly basis. And to back it off a little is to completely change what would make him effective in that role anyway.

  16. pxeeks - Mar 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    That sucks. Sorry Ryan. I watched a game where u started for the Phillies. That was forever ago. Thanks for the WS. Rehab and come back to Philly.

  17. unlost1 - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    didn’t he pass a physical?

  18. check7734 - Mar 25, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    This is why Philly went other avenues on a closer. Also shame on the Reds for not doing a physical and if they did wow bad luck. Furthermore do not deal Philips to Philly for Hamels because I feel they knew about the elbow.

  19. andyreidisfat - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    First, the bulldog is already a very rich man so let’s stop feeling bad for him.

    Second I am personally shocked this didn’t happen sooner. With his throwing style he should have had this injury sooner.

    I do feel bad or reds fans because bulldog is much better than Marshall but the reds should still have one of if not the best offenses in the nl, it’s just to bad they will lose in the playoffs to a team with good pitching .

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