Ryan Madson and the Arm That Was

Former Phillies reliever Ryan Madson is a free agent, a nearly forgotten man who has missed the entirety of the past two seasons, owing to some obviously serious elbow issues. That kind of time away from the game can dull memories of what once was and, in Madson’s case, that’s a special shame.

Madson was never a high-profile reliever. He became somewhat well-known as his production continued to improve after his conversion to full-time relieving in the second half of the 2006 season. From 2007-11, and especially from 2009-11, Madson made his way up the subjective ranks of relievers to borderline elite, striking out 314 against 75 unintentional walks in 329.2 IP. He was never comfortably embraced as such by Phillies fans en masse because of a low save conversion rate from 2009-10 (11 blown saves in 68 save situations, although five of said blown saves came before the ninth inning), but that small bit of bad timing hid the bigger picture of just how effective Mad Dog was on the whole.

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Phillies Prospect Conversation: Kiley McDaniel (ScoutingBaseball.com)

We continue our discussions on the Phillies farm system with Kiley McDaniel, he of MSN’s ScoutingBaseball.com and formerly of ESPN, Baseball Prospectus and some front office work, all before the age of 30. Based in Florida, McDaniel does an enormous amount of in-person work on amateur and Latin American talent and, for our purposes, sees plenty of Florida State League action as well. He provides excellent video content, rock solid scouting opinions and even breaks an occasional news story once in a while, including this doozy. You can also make the case that he has a better head of hair than I do. I wouldn’t, but you could. While Kiley’s stuff is mostly behind a pay wall (it’s absolutely worth it if you’re a hardcore baseball geek) his Phillies list is not. Lucky you. Here’s our discussion: Continue reading…

An Annual Reminder about Spring Training Stats

Pitchers and catchers are set to report to Clearwater tomorrow, officially kicking off spring training for the Phillies. Soon thereafter, exhibition games will start and players will fight tooth and nail for a limited amount of roster spots. Players’ success or failure in February and March will be decided, in no small part, by their spring training stats.

While there are few more reliable methods to decide spring training winners and losers than by their stats, it is important to keep in mind their flaws and limitations.

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