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.