Madson Looks Like A Fit For The Rotation

Madson Looks Like A Fit For The Rotation

Granted, it's very early in the spring training schedule, but after two appearances, Ryan Madson looks head and shoulders above the other pitchers in camp. His new curveball is working well and he's on course to easily win a job in the starting rotation.

Ryan Madson breezed through a 38 pitch, three-inning start Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. It was his first start since getting shelled in a regular season start against the White Sox in 2004 and Madson looked very much like a different pitcher than he was at that time.

One of the differences is how his curveball has developed and how willing he is to use the pitch. He was able to throw it for strikes on Tuesday and hitters were having a tough time finding the pitch as they swung through a few of the curveballs offered by Madson. Meanwhile, Madson's fastball and change-up look like they'll both be at 100% well before Opening Day arrives.

In two spring appearances, Madson has pitched five innings, allowing just one run on one hit for a 1.80 ERA. He also hasn't walked a batter this spring.

Phillies 5, D'Rays 4

Pat Burrell returned to the Phillies lineup and went 1-for-2 with a walk. Burrell played left field for the first time this spring after serving as a designated hitter in the first spring game before a sore foot knocked him out of the lineup. Burrell will be using a brace on his foot, which should arrive in camp Wednesday. During the off-season, Burrell had surgery to remove loose bodies and bone spurs from the foot that had bothered him throughout last season and he's still experiencing pain, especially when he tries to round a base.

Ryan Howard provided power with a two-run homerun, his third of the season. This shot was to left field off Devil Rays' starter Jason Hammel.

Besides Madson's three solid innings, Arthur Rhodes threw one perfect inning of relief for the Phillies. Aquilino Lopez (1-0), who is fighting for a spot in the Phillies bullpen, allowed one run in his inning of work, but wound up being the winning pitcher. Yoel Hernandez and Jeremy Cummings each allowed one run over two innings of work, with Cummings recording his first save of the spring season.

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