By Mike DiGiovanna
2:26 PM PST, February 11, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz.—New Angels reliever Ryan Madson experienced soreness in his surgically repaired elbow after a Feb. 1 bullpen session and hasn’t thrown since, the right-hander said Monday, the day before the team’s first spring-training workout for pitchers and catchers.
Madson, the former Philadelphia Phillies closer who missed the entire 2012 season because of Tommy John surgery, considers the setback a normal part of the 12-month recovery process but admitted to being discouraged by it.
“I’m a little disappointed right now,” said Madson, who signed a one-year, $3.5-million deal with the Angels in November and is expected to be the team’s closer. “I didn’t want there to be any hang-ups.”
Madson still held out hope that he would be ready by the April 1 season opener in Cincinnati, but the chances of that appear slim. Even before this setback, the team had mapped out a conservative schedule that had Madson pitching in exhibition games by mid-March and being regular-season ready in mid-April.
If Madson can regain his 2011 form, when he went 4-2 with a 2.37 earned run average and 32 saves in 34 chances, he will fortify a bullpen that includes hard-throwing right-handers Ernesto Frieri and Kevin Jepsen and veteran lefties Scott Downs and Sean Burnett.
If not, the Angels could suffer from the same bullpen depth issues that plagued them in 2011 and 2012, when they led the American League with 47 blown saves.
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