Angels’ Ryan Madson gets good news from MRI, but to open season on DL

Angels reliever Ryan Madson practices in the bullpen at Angel Stadium.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- An MRI test has showed mild inflammation but no significant damage to Ryan Madson’s surgically repaired elbow, a huge relief for the Angels reliever.

However, Madson will not resume throwing for at least another week, and he is expected to open the regular season on the disabled list.

“I was pointing toward the season opener, and I think that maybe got me into a little bit of trouble,” said Madson, the former Philadelphia Phillies closer who missed the 2012 season because of Tommy John surgery. “Now, I don’t have a set date in mind. I’m just going to listen to the trainers and let my arm do its thing.”


Madson had thrown off a mound four times before being shut down because of elbow soreness after a Feb. 1 bullpen session in Anaheim. He will spend at least a week strengthening his arm and will be reevaluated before resuming his throwing program.

“I’m not disappointed that I have to wait another week to throw,” Madson said. “This gives me peace of mind. It’s just a little inflammation in the muscle. I have a lot better attitude now.”

Madson, who underwent surgery last April, signed a one-year, $3.5-million contract in November, but he can double his pay if spends 2013 as the closer.

The hard-throwing right-hander can earn an additional $2.5 million in bonuses, $500,000 each for one, 45, 90, 135 and 180 days on the active roster, and $1 million in incentives, $250,000 each for 35, 40, 45 and 50 games finished.

If he can regain his 2011 form, when he went 4-2 with a 2.37 earned run average and 32 saves in 34 chances for Philadelphia, he would provide a significant boost to a bullpen that led the American League with 47 blown saves the past two seasons. But it appears that the Angels will open the season with Ernesto Frieri as closer.


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