It isn't a set-back, as the Phillies have been aware of this possibility since Ryan Madson kicked a folding chair and fractured a toe in San Francisco after blowing a save Sunday. But the fact that he will undergo surgery on the toe tomorrow is the latest sign that manager Charlie Manuel will have to continue to mix-and-match with his bullpen for the forseeable future.
The Phillies have yet to announce a general recovery timetable for Madson, preferring instead to wait until after the surgery tomorrow morning to estimate when he might return.
Madson had a CT scan yesterday morning during a visit to Dr. Steven Raikin, a foot specialist at the Rothman Institute. Tomorrow, he'll have a pin and a plate inserted.
"We don't really know what that is going to mean long-term, but tomorrow after the surgery we'll have a little more informtion on what that means as far as progressions, rehabs, all those kind of things," Sheridan said.
From the Associated Press, forwarded to me by ace jack-of-all-trades Eddie Barkowitz:
Former Phillies closer Billy Wagner has given the Braves early notice that he intends to retire after the season to spend more time with
Wagner said he is making his plans known early this season so
the Braves can have time to prepare for 2011.
Wagner, 38, plans to retire even though he has a $6.5 million
option to play in 2011.
He said the extra time he spent with his wife and four children
while recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery in 2008
made it more difficult to be away from his Virginia home.
“I think when I was home with the kids I just enjoyed it,
probably too much,” Wagner said. “It’s where I want to be and I
think it’s something else the Lord has got for me to do and I’m
going to go that way.”
Wagner used an off day on Monday for a quick trip to his home in
Crozet, Va., near Charlottesville. The Braves open a series at
Washington on Tuesday.
Braves general manger Frank Wren said Wagner’s decision is not a
“We knew this was a possibility from the beginning,” Wren said
Monday. “We respect Billy’s desire to be with his family and we
are glad he is with us this year.”
The 2011 option for Wagner kicks in if he finishes 50 games this
season. He is 1-0 with two saves and a 2.00 ERA in his first season
as the Atlanta Braves’ closer.
Wagner has proved he has made a full recovery from his elbow
surgery. The left-hander’s fastball still hits the upper 90s on the
He is sixth all-time with 387 career saves, including two this
Wagner is chasing John Franco’s record of 424 saves by a
left-hander. In spring training, Wagner said he was motivated by
the record, but now he says he’ll retire even if he falls short of
that mark this season.
Wagner said he told manager Bobby Cox of his decision on Friday
so the Braves would know what to expect when preparing for next
“I really just wanted to make sure they know where I stand so
if something comes up and they have to make a move they’re not
caught off-guard,” Wagner said.
Wagner said he didn’t discuss the possibility of retirement
during contract negotiations with the Braves last winter.
“No, I didn’t think it was the time,” he said. “I thought we
should go on and get playing and see where it goes. We were
planning to tell them at the right time.”
Wagner said his decision so early in the 2010 season was not an
indication he is not satisfied with his performance.
“It has no bearing on how I’m pitching,” he said. “I just
think it’s the right time. I’d like to be able to go out when I
feel halfway decent and not laboring to get through seasons and
then I can enjoy my family when I’m done.”
Wagner made his debut with Houston in 1995 and remained with the
Astros through the 2003 season, when he set a career high with 44
saves. He was Philadelphia’s closer for two years before four years
with the Mets. He had elbow surgery in September, 2008, and
returned with the Mets last season before he was traded to the
Boston Red Sox.
He has a 2.38 ERA in 791 career games.
Wagner and his wife, Sarah, have three sons and one daughter,
ages 3 to 11.
He had a quick answer when asked about his plans for retirement.
“I’m going to be a Little League coach with my kids,” he said.
“I enjoy it. I enjoy being around them and being on the farm and
want to do a lot of stuff with my church. That’s really what I want
to do, just slow it down and see what comes along.”
The Braves don’t have an obvious closer in line for 2011.
Takashi Saito, also in his first season in Atlanta, has been a
closer in his career, but he is 40. Peter Moylan, 31, has been
effective in a set-up role but has only two career saves in his
five years with the team.