Ryan Madson’s elbow “is pretty close to 100 percent”


Sidelined early in camp by what manager Dusty Baker called “a little irritation in his arm,” Ryan Madson has been cleared for game action.

Madson was officially diagnosed with elbow inflammation, but told Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer that “it’s pretty close to 100 percent right now.”

Groeschen reports that Madson threw a 30-pitch bullpen session today, mixing in off-speed stuff along with fastballs, so the Reds’ one-year, $8.5 million investment still looks like a good one.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.