Cincinnati Reds' Ryan Madson Suffers Apparent Setback

Tyler DumaFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2012

GOODYEAR, AZ - FEBRUARY 25:  Ryan Madson #46 of the Cincinnati Reds poses for a portrait during a photo day at Goodyear Ballpark on February 25, 2012 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images)
Rich Pilling/Getty Images

Last night, it was announced that Ryan Madson would not take part in his scheduled minor league appearance today.

Neither Madson or Dusty Baker were willing to comment on what caused the setback but it appears obvious that Madson's elbow is not 100 percent healthy.

When asked why Madson was scratched from the upcoming game Baker replied, "I don't have any answers for you, right now." Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty told the press "We're sorting it out."

Madson told reporters "I don't know what I can say, I don't like to be like that but..."

It's been noted all spring Madson has had minor elbow concerns nearly every year but always vanish in time for opening day.

This one, however, is starting to become worrisome. The Reds home opener is less than two weeks away and their star closer hasn't pitched a single game yet.

Madson was to be on the right track when he pitched in a simulated game Tuesday, but apparently not.

It's a little troubling that Madson has yet to pitch in a game thus far. It's hard to imagine the organization isn't troubled by this as well and I believe they're working on a backup plan.

If Madson is unable to go Opening Day, the next best option is Sean Marshall. Marshall is dominating on the hill this spring and has proven in the past to be valuable in late inning scenarios.

When the Reds extended Marshall's contract this spring, I assumed he would become the closer after this season. Should anything be seriously wrong with Madson's elbow, Marshall could take over the job much sooner than expected.

Nick Masset should get a good look for the position as well, but if I were a gambling man, I'd bet on Marshall becoming the Reds closer.

At least for the time being.