Ryan Madson

Luke Hochevar AP

Can the Royals’ bullpen get even better? Luke Hochevar set to return from Tommy John surgery

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Tonight the Royals’ MLB-best bullpen and its 1.00 ERA are expected to get closer Greg Holland back from the disabled list and Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that they’re also likely to get setup man Luke Hochevar back this weekend.

Hochevar missed all of last season following Tommy John elbow surgery and was a terrible starter from 2007-2012, but the former No. 1 overall pick thrived after shifting to the bullpen full time in 2013 with a 1.92 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 70 innings.

If he returns to pick up anywhere near where he left off the Royals’ bullpen is going to be ridiculously scary, with Holland ranking as one of the elite closers in baseball and his setup men consisting of Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Ryan Madson, Franklin Morales, Jason Frasor, and Hochevar.

Royals’ bullpen blows no-hit bid in the eighth inning against the Tigers

Chris Young
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Update (10:20 PM EST): It’s over. That quick. Herrera led off the eighth inning by walking Alex Avila, then served up a single to Nick Castellanos. Jose Iglesias then beat out an infield single to load the bases with no outs.

The Royals are working on a no-hitter against the Tigers in Friday night’s game. Chris Young started for the Royals — his first start of the season — limiting the Tigers to three walks without any hits while striking out nine on 81 pitches. Ryan Madson relieved Young in the sixth and kept the Tigers hitless for two innings. Kelvim Herrera will take over in the eighth inning.

On the offensive side of things, the Royals got an early 3-0 lead in the first inning with a two-run double from Kendrys Morales and an RBI single from Salvador Perez. They tacked on another run in the second when Morales knocked home his third run with a single.

We’ll keep you posted as the Royals attempt to finish off the no-hitter.

Ryan Madson makes the Royals’ 25-man roster

Ryan Madson
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It’s been a long road back to the major leagues for reliever Ryan Madson. But he’s officially made it back, joining the Royals’ bullpen as part of the 25-man roster, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports. Madson signed with the Royals on a minor league deal in January and performed reasonably well in spring training, giving up five runs (three earned) on 11 hits with a 6/0 K/BB ratio in nine innings. He’ll earn a $850,000 salary this season for making the major league roster.

Madson, 34, last pitched in the majors in 2011 when the Phillies were knocked out of the NLDS in five games by the Cardinals. The right-hander had risen to prominence as one of baseball’s best set-up men, then took over in the closer’s role for Brad Lidge in 2011. From 2007-11, as a full-time reliever for the Phillies, Madson posted a 2.89 ERA with a 314/97 K/BB ratio in 329 2/3 innings.

The Phillies let him go into free agency after the 2011 season. He signed a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Reds for the 2012 season but he never threw a pitch for them as a result of a sprained UCL suffered early in spring training. He underwent surgery in April. The next off-season, he signed with the Angels on a one-year, $3.5 million deal, but again did not pitch due to continued discomfort in his surgically repaired elbow. Madson had surgery to remove scar tissue from his elbow in May that year. He did not sign with anyone in 2014.