Year In Review: Ryan Madson – Phillies Nation
2009 Year in Review

Year In Review: Ryan Madson

After successfully being the “bridge to Lidge,” Ryan Madson was given a three-year, $12 million contract in January, 2009.  Madson looked to continue his success as the team’s set-up man, but he was also handed the closing job.

Madson was extremely comfortable in the eighth inning.  The right hander had 26 holds, which ranked fifth in the National League.  However, when filling in for an injured closer, Madson blew six saves.

Madson has a hard fastball, which tops the high-90’s on adrenaline.  His changeup is filthy, and helped him strike out 9.1 batters per nine, a career high.  Madson struck out 78 batters, but he also kept the ball in the yard.  He only allowed 7 home runs in 77+ innings. 

Madson was streaky, however.  He’d have his stretches where he would be lights out, but he would also have stretches where he would get lit up.  For example, he had a 5.11 ERA in July, but a 2.63 ERA in August.

Charlie Manuel could throw Madson out against a left-handed batter or a right-handed batter and he would get the job done.  He had more success against righties, but having somebody who can get batters out from both sides of the plate is extremely valuable for a bullpen.

2009 statistics: 5-5, 77.1 IP, 3.26 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, .251 AVG

Grade: 7.4/10 — Madson is one of the best set-up men in the league.  He was streaky at times, but overall he had a great year.  He couldn’t get the job done as closer, but having a reliable set-up man is about as important as having a reliable closer.



  1. Griffin

    January 3, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Home-grown and consistently under-appreciated.

  2. Dudley Monk

    January 3, 2010 at 11:57 am

    An important staple as set-up man in the bullpen. Underrated and valuable.

  3. Greg V.

    January 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Madson has some of the best stuff in the game. I even remember reading once that his change up gets more outs percentage wise than any other pitch in the game. How true that is, I don’t know. But he’s a great arm and probably my favorite pitcher in the bullpen.

  4. Aaron

    January 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Love Madson, as much good as he did for us this year, those 6 blown saves really stand out for me.

  5. Nick

    January 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Maddog <3

  6. Pingback: Year In Review: Ryan Madson | Phillies Nation - World Breaking News

  7. Griffin

    January 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    In 2008, Madson’s changeup to right-handed hitters induced the highest percentage of swings and misses than any other pitch from any pitcher in MLB.

    In 2009, Madson’s changeup was 2nd in MLB.

  8. Joel V.

    January 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I think this rating is surprisingly low but the review is spot on. I think he is more of an 8-8.5. How many setup men are this consistent?

  9. JJFritz

    January 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    As my thoughts about our team have been up and down throughout this off-season so far, I would have to admit that Madson was probably the most consistent pitcher we had out of the bullpen this year. I do believe, as I’m sure most will agree, that he had too much pressure thrust on him when asked to fill in for Lidge when he was out. Madosn is great in the back end of the bullpen, but not to close. He was not molded to close. Don’t get me wrong — if he was given an in-depth look at closing, and taught to close properly, I think he’d more than sufficient in the role. But, seeing that he came up as a starter and pushed to the bullpen due to struggling, and we already had a closer in Wagner and now Lidge, he hasn’t been given a chance to really learn the role. That being said, for what he has done in the set-up job, kudos. I feel he too has the potential to be rated a lot higher — but that would depend on him given the chance to stay in one spot all season. If he wasn’t pressured with trying to fill in for Lidge this year, his numbers would have been a hell of a lot better and he would definitely be ranked a lot higher in regards to his stats. Good job this year, and I’m sure he’ll continue to do the type of job that granted him the contract that he now has.

  10. Dudley Monk

    January 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Mr. Fritz, it comes down to being able to handle the pressure of closing. Madson has consistently shown he cannot do it. He is a fine middle reliever, making a nice paycheck. WE are lucky to have him. He will never be a closer of significance or a major league starter. He has found his niche. Wish I could say the same for myself.

  11. Brian Sr. of CO

    January 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    This rating it pretty fair overall. I dont fully agree with saying “pressured with trying to fill in for Lidge” because Madson originally turned downed his contract offer (Scott Boras was his agent, PUNK) because he wanted to be a closer. He thought he was worth more, and thought he might be able to get more as a closer elsewhere, however, when Cole Hamels signed his contract, I think he realized he would have problems getting more money. He WANTS to close. He hasnt been shy about. I think he has approached it with professionalism after he ended up signing his contract, but still this rating I think is spot on due to his inability to close. Had he only blown 1 or 2 saves, or not even had any save attempts, this probably would have been about an 8.5. Sure he was streaky at times, but overall he was still a nice option in the 8th.

  12. Aaron

    January 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    I am going to respond every breakdown comment of JJFritz.

    “I do believe, as I’m sure most will agree, that he had too much pressure thrust on him when asked to fill in for Lidge when he was out.”
    – Ok he is a professional baseball athlete making more money than we ever will. I dont care who/what 3 outs they are asking him to get, he should be able to get them without using anyone using “pressure” as an excuse.

    “if he was given an in-depth look at closing, and taught to close properly, I think he’d more than sufficient in the role.”
    – He should see the 9th inning the same as the 8th inning. When it comes down to it, it is getting 3 outs without blowing the lead or tie, same role as 8th inning.

  13. WFC010

    January 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I think Madson has the potential to be a good closer, but I don’t know if that potential is going to be realized or not. Maybe if somebody took him aside and gave him pointers on closing etc.

    Even if Lidge comes back good in 2010, I still feel we will need some backup options, to take a little pressure off Lidge. The only 2 potential options right now look to be Madson(if he can work out his issues with closing), and Baez. Given Moyer’s age, he should probably be given a try as a closer too, and see how it goes. And that’s ASSUMING that Moyer pitches at all this coming year…and that is looking kinda iffy right now.

  14. Aaron

    January 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    moyer would save the phillies a whole lotta time and money if he would just announce his retirement. phillies could make him some kind of a special coach or an advisor, hell moyer can write a book and make some big money. could be nice to free up that 6-8 million.

  15. Brian Sr. of CO

    January 4, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Its amazing how much some people hate Moyer. He doesnt even need to pitch, or anything, and people hate him. I find it funny that depending on the pitcher people will pick and choose a stat. For Hamels, people completely ignore the ERA of over 4.30 and talk about WHIP, for Moyer, the overall ERA is end all be all. Ignoring his ERA from the the entire 2nd half of the season being under 4, but focus on his 4.94 overall ERA. From April to 13 May, he was horrible. From 20 May tp 22 Sep he made 21 appearances, in those 21 appearances he threw more than ER’s only 4 times, 3 or more ER’s only 7 times. That means he pitched 4 ER’s 3 times. of those 17 performances, he pitched less then 6 innings 7 times, he pitched 6 or more innings 10 times. Actually if you take away his starts on May 2, 7 and 13 of 7 ER’s, his ERA would drop from 4.92 under 4.3. Moyer is supposed to be the #5. Never meant to be an ACE. The funny thing is everyone always say Moyer only had the amount of wins because of run support. He was 12-10 this season. of those 12 wins, he gave up 4 runs ONCE, in those 10 losses, he gave up 4 or less runs 6 times. So how can you say he needed run support to earn 12 wins if he only gave up more than 4 only once? and how can you blame him for every single one of those 10 losses if 6 of those he gave up 4 or less? so of the losses, he gave up 5 or more runs only 4 times. Hmm. I guess he didnt really NEED run support to win all of those games. Thats like saying Hamels needed those 22 runs against the Reds to win, completely ignoring the FACT that Hamels gave up what 1 run in 7 innings. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper than the ERA.

  16. WFC010

    January 5, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I like Moyer a lot, and it’s truly amazing what he can still do at his age. The problem is that coming into this season, he may be the oldest pitcher ever, and sooner or later age catches up to you, especially after all the surgeries and problems he has had over the past year or so. The Phillies and Moyer himself better be near positive that he can keep pitching, or else he needs to retire soon, to free up money for the Phils to bring somebody else aboard.

  17. Brian Sr. of CO

    January 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    WFC010, my comment wasnt directed towards you.

  18. Aaron

    January 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Lol then just call that person out. I couldn’t stand reading what you put because it is one long run on paragraph filled in with 20 different statistics.

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