Madson Suffers Setback, Frieri Says All The Right (And Wrong Things)

Please be okay. please please please...
 Yesterday, the LA Times reported that Ryan Madson felt tenderness around February 1st in the elbow he had Tommy John surgery on and has not thrown since. While the Angels had expected to have Madson throwing in regular season games by early April, that seems as though it will be pushed back now.

In that same article, DiGiovanna suggested that Ernesto Frieri would return to the closer role with Madson still recovering. Frieri was quoted and I was left feeling mixed about his response.

Quote 1: "When they signed Madson, honestly, I was excited."

Reaction: Your excited about a guy stealing your bullpen role? Huh?

Quote 2: "If I have a great year with 40 saves and we don't make the playoffs, that's nothing. If I'm not the closer and have 30 holds and we make the World Series, that means a lot to me. It's not about my personal records or being the closer. It's about winning."

Reaction: Oh I get it. The REAL team player. Man, I love Ernesto Frieri.

Quote 3: "I threw my fastball 99% of the time last year, but they get used to your mechanics and velocity."

Reaction: Well, he actually threw his fastball 86% of the time. But that's fine. It probably FELT like 99% of the time. And he's right, they (the batters) did adjust. Freri's ERA in the second-half of the season was 4.50 and he gave up 7 home runs in 28 innings opposed to the 2 he gave up in the 38 innings beforehand.

Quote 4: "I'm not Mariano Rivera. I can't use one pitch for 20 years."

Reaction: Clearly... but why say that? Someone to aspire to be, right? Also, Rivera actually uses more than just one pitch.

Quote 5: "To stay in the big leagues, I need to keep working and make adjustments."

Nice! Frieri must have an excellent work ethic. Man I love Ernesto Frieri.

Frieri also revealed he's been working on a new pitch which is expected to be a change-up. Someone should do a study on the success of pitches in the first year after pitchers bring them into their repertoire.

It will be interesting to see if Frieri actually does get the closer role in the wake of the Madson setback. Prediction is that he does. However, that doesn't mean he should get the closer job. Something else to watch closely during spring training.

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