Ryan Madson pitched well enough in the spring of 2004 to earn a spot with the big league club, although not in his usual role. Instead, Madson was sent to the bullpen and started his major league career in non-pressure situations. As he developed and the Phillies developed more confidence in him, he was slowly moved to a more prominent role as a reliever and before long, was being used in high pressure situations. Last season, Madson simply wore out, not from the number of innings he was throwing, but because of how often he was being called on. He pitched just ten more innings in 2005 than he did in 2004, but pitched in 26 - or 50% more - games than he had in 2004.
Throughout his success as a reliever, Madson still yearned to return to the starting rotation. Ironically, the one time that the Phillies used him as an emergency starter, he was rocked by the Chicago White Sox and didn't return to the mound to start again. This winter, rumbles started about Madson moving to the rotation and when new GM Pat Gillick couldn't find any starters through trades, Madson was told that he would be given a shot. He was in a three man battle with Ryan Franklin and Gavin Floyd for two spots at the back of the rotation. All three have had outstanding springs, giving the Phillies the pleasant problem of deciding who goes where. Final team cuts left 12 pitchers on the staff and Madson, Franklin and Floyd are all among them.
While there have been rumors that Madson would move back to the bullpen and others that had Floyd being sent back to AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre, the smart money right now is on Franklin heading to the bullpen with Madson and Floyd in the starting rotation.
Projection for 2006