100 Greatest Phillies: 74 – Ryan Madson – Phillies Nation
100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 74 – Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
Relief Pitcher

Career w/Phillies: 439 IP / 32-21 / 3.94 ERA / 343 K / 5 SV

Drafted by the Phillies in 1998, Ryan Madson made his pro debut in 2003, but really stunned in 2004 as a late-innings reliever. His fastball and changeup combination made him one of the better young arms in any major league bullpen. But after a shaky 2005, and with no great options in the starting rotation, Madson moved to starter for 2006. While he finished 11-9, he recorded a bad 5.69 ERA. It was his only bad season. Madson returned to form in 2007, pitching through injuries, and really broke out in 2008. His trademark moment came during the 2008 postseason, as Madson became the primetime eighth-inning arm many had hoped he’d become.

Comment: Madson gets tons of love for helping bridge to Brad Lidge in 2008. While he’ll be geared up as one of the game’s premiere setup men, one can’t overlook how solid he’s been before his breakout. A good strikeout pitcher, he carries a K:BB ratio better than 2:1.



  1. John Fire

    January 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Good pick. I might have been tempted to put Madson even higher up the list. If he mirrors his ’08 success in ’09, I think he cracks top 60.

  2. Jason

    January 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm


    Madson over Myers?

    I sense some bias.

  3. Manny

    January 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I’m happy I bought a Ryan Madson jersey after we won the WS. I’m positive he’ll keep improving…

  4. Tim Malcolm

    January 12, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Ryan Madson: 60% winning percentage; 3.94 career ERA; 2.5/1 K/BB ratio.
    Brett Myers: 54% winning percentage; 4.37 career ERA; 2.4/1 K/BB ratio.

    If by bias you mean bias toward statistically better players, then sure.

  5. Chuck P

    January 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Not my favorite choice but I’m not a huge Madson guy… I can’t get over the ’05-06 years when he was anything but stellar. I think that there has to be 100 Phillies in history better than Madson. He proved that he’s not a starter and he has really only had three complete seasons as a phillies reliever. Is that enough to be on an all-franshise list? If so, only in Philadelphia.

    I’m going to stir the pot here… I want to see what he does this year before crowning him the greatest setup guy in franchise history. When someone suddenly gains 5-6 MPH on their fastball, you have to be a bit skeptical. Take a step backwards and think about the biggest news this offseason and how that might fit in with what I’m saying… He has a great changeup that is only set up by his fastball.

  6. Brian

    January 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Good pick here, he was excellent this year and hopefully he keeps that going into 09′. I think he found his nitche in the bullpen.

    I saw Madson out in FL one night during Spring Training. Nice guy, bought me and the group I was with a round of brews and talked to use for awhile, took pictures, etc. Saw him the next day at the game and he chatted with us very briefly by the bullpen.

  7. Megary

    January 12, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    In the end, 74 may look too low for Madson. Right now I think it’s way too high. I’ll take very serviceable numbers out of the starting rotation (Myers, B) over good (but not dominant) numbers out of the pen at this point.

    No way you can compare the two simply by looking at winning percentage and career ERA. A starting pitcher is infinitely more valuable than a one inning set up guy. And Madson failed as a starter, to say the least.

  8. KidCarnivore

    January 12, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Very interesting…does this mean Romero will be higher than 74!?

  9. Chapps

    January 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I have always liked Madson but I think this is a little high I would have had him in the mid-eighties. But if he continues to improve who knows one day some other team may even retire his number, and he may go down as their best closer.

  10. Fire

    January 12, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    The Rays signed Kapler for 1 yr / 1 mil. Man, they’re getting all the deals! I guess, if anything, we’re getting Nomar. I don’t mind that one bit.

  11. Greg V.

    January 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I think Madson is a quality pitcher but I would not have ranked him above Jim Thome or Jamie Moyer.

  12. Jamie

    January 12, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Yeah, I can live with Nomar too. Good insurance and certainly won’t hurt us at all.

  13. Bruce

    January 12, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Tim Malcolm~ comparing statistics between reliever (Madson) and starter (Myers) is like comparing apples and oranges. Also when ranking players currently on the Phillies’ roster, maybe they should have an asterisk next to their name; * “subject to change in ranking pending on future performance”. 😉

  14. Jim

    January 12, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Bruce I’m pretty sure these rankings are through 2008. Obviously if he makes another list next year through 2009, then the curret players stats will reflect that.

  15. pb

    January 12, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Rueben’s on the MLB Network’s Hot Stove show right now

  16. Geoff M

    January 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    A lot of people have been saying negative things about Nomar’s character and locker room presence, but he’s a class act. His divorce with the Red Sox wasn’t bad and he thanked the fans and his team in a press conference. Schilling says the Sox would have never won without Nomar… Anyway, I also found this tidbit:

    On October 8, 2005, Garciaparra and his uncle Victor were alerted to the screams of two women who had fallen into Boston Harbor outside his condominium. One of the women sustained injuries to her head after hitting the pier on her way in. Garciaparra quickly jumped into the harbor and saved both women, who were later taken to the hospital


    January 12, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Am I the only one in the world who doesn’t think an aging veteran with a hefty paycheck is something the Phillies don’t need? What’s with the Nomar obsession? There’s not a younger guy out there who can’t do what Nomar does for less and longer, too?

  18. Matt Kwasiborski

    January 13, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    No way does Madson deserve to be on this list at all. He has had one consistent half season. Until this year he was horrendous after the 7th inning and constantly gave up huge hits that allowed opposing teams to tie or take the lead. This is clearly a bias against this guy considering he had one good half year. We need to let the WS go in our minds but not in our hearts when it comes to making prudent and respectable decisions.

  19. Bruce

    January 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Jim says~”Obviously if he (Madson) makes another list next year through 2009, then the current players stats will reflect that.”

    That’s precisely my point. Because Tim Malcolm made the decision to include in his rankings of “greatest” players of those who are CURRENTLY playing, he would need to justify his choice(s) with updated rankings on a YEARLY basis. Why he decided to rank a current Phillies player with an INCOMPLETE career record and who may have a disappointing season in 2009 is puzzling. Of course, the next question is would Tim even bother to do another “greatest” list after next season?

    Do you now see my point? 😉

  20. fred

    January 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Madson over Mitch Williams and Myers ? What about that year Madson had an ERA over 5 ? And you can’t compare Madsons ERA to Myers as Myers has the harder task of starting. Winning percentage also is fluke, in 2007 Eaton won something like 12 games with an ERA over 6 and Hamels didn’t win near enough games with his ERA last year.

  21. Chapps

    January 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Chuck P – Really all Madson did was the same thing many pitchers due, when they know they are only going to pitch one or two innings. They put more into each pitch, Meyers Fastball pickup a couple of MPH when he went to the pen, and he even said he was still trying to throw hard at the beginning of this year and that is way he struggled. So it’s not surprising that he added 5-6 mph to his fastball.

    Most Everyone else – Madson struggled when the Phillies tried to use him as anything other then what he is, and that is a one to two inning pitcher. He’s not a started he’s not a log reliever, and as soon as people realized that he became a better pitcher and asset to the team.

    With that said I would still not have put him this high, but what do I know My Top Ten looked like this:

    1. Von “Five for One, Two in the First” Hayes
    2. Pat “The Bat” Burrell
    3. Randy “Always” Ready
    4. Jose Dejesus
    5. Manny Trillo
    6. Ryne “Oh what could have been” Sandberg
    7. Jim Eisenreich
    8. John “One Nut” Kurk
    9. John Christopher Vukovich
    10. Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams

  22. Chuck P

    January 14, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Name me a middle reliever in the HOF… Anyone? Anyone?? Buehler? I just don’t think that a middle reliever who pitched 2-3 good years deserves to be on any all-franchise list.

  23. MadSon

    January 14, 2009 at 11:22 am

    That’s gonna be hard, since starting pitcher used to pitch 8-9 innings and teams regular only used one or two pitchers a game. So most good middle relievers/set-up men are still playing or recently retired and aside from that most really good ones(that guy from the yankees comes to mind) go on to become good closers, or started out as solid starters who moved to the pen as they got older. So they are mostly remember as that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2016
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top