Reds closer Ryan Madson has yet to make an appearance in a Cactus League game this spring because of discomfort in his throwing elbow.
And he’s unlikely to debut anytime soon.
According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Madson was scratched from a scheduled appearance Thursday in a minor league exhibition game with what sounds like renewed elbow issues.
“I don’t know what I can say,” Madson told the Enquirer on Thursday evening in Reds camp. “I don’t like to be like that, but…”
“We’re sorting it out,” general manager Walt Jocketty added. “We’ll let you know.”
Madson signed a one-year, $8.5 million free agent contract with the Reds this winter. If he is unavailable for the start of the regular season, Reds skipper Dusty Baker will likely ask Sean Marshall to act as closer.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.