It had been a few days since we heard any word on where Ryan Madson was in his rehab. In most cases, no news is good news. That doesn't appear to apply to Madson though as Mike DiGiovanna reported this morning:
#Angels RHP Ryan Madson felt some tightness in surgically repaired elbow after Thursday bullpen session. Better now but only long-tossing.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) March 19, 2013
Welp, more elbow tightness. This is only a minor setback, but a setback nonetheless. Unlike last earlier in camp, Madson hasn't been shut down and hasn't, as far as we know, been sent off for an MRI. Instead, he's just taken a small step back and is only long tossing. Still, that is a step back that is only going to prolong his return to active duty. He was already expected to miss the first two weeks of the season, but now that could be extended as he says he needs at least ten bullpen sessions before pitching in a live game and one can only assume he'll need a few live rehab games before being activated from the DL. With his clock now reset once more, him missing the entire month of April seems pretty likely.
This development also explains the rumors last week that Jerry Dipoto was searching the trade market for potential relief help. Right-handed relief pitching was a big problem for the Angels last season and Madson was supposed to solve that, but now that he can't be counted on, the Halos are wise to see what else they can dig up. There are no substantive rumors as of yet, but knowing that the Cubs are shopping Carlos Marmol and that the Halos tried to acquire him in the failed Dan Haren trade at the start of the off-season, it would make sense if the two teams discussed Marmol once more, even though that scares the hell out of me both because of his contract and his decaying performance.
A few other names to watch are, and these are strictly speculation on my part, free agents Francisco Rodriguez and Jose Valverde (no thanks on both counts) or supposedly available trade pieces Alfredo Aceves (yikes), Matt Capps (yawn) and really any other veteran who is in camp as a non-roster invite that may not make the Opening Day roster. These are not attractive options, so let's hope Madson can get himself healthy in a hurry.