Ryan Madson makes first rehab appearance

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After numerous setbacks Ryan Madson finally got back on the mound in a game yesterday, making his first minor-league rehab appearance with a scoreless inning at Single-A.

Madson pitched the ninth inning and picked up the save by retiring all three batters he faced, with William Boor of MLB.com reporting that he was clocked at 90-92 miles per hour. Prior to undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery Madson averaged 94 mph with his fastball.

Madson is already eligible to come off the disabled list, so it’s just a matter of convincing the Angels that he’s ready to be an asset in the bullpen. In his absence Ernesto Frieri has grabbed hold of the closer role, so Madson would likely be eased in as a setup man.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.