Madson loses cool, and Phils lose Madson

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Phillies' pitcher Ryan Madson was put on the 15-day DL after breaking his toe by kicking a metal chair. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Everyone who still believes Ryan Madson can't close will be right - for the next few weeks, anyway.

The lanky reliever, who served as the Phillies' closer in Brad Lidge's absence, broke his right big toe when he angrily kicked a chair after a blown save in San Francisco on Wednesday.

"I went downstairs to cool off and I slipped on the way down and that just set me off," Madson said. "There was a chair at the end of the stairs and I tried to kick it over and I caught my toe underneath the chair instead of on top.

"I'm frustrated. I'm embarrassed," said Madson, who was wearing a boot to protect his toe. "I let down my teammates and the fans that want us to all be out there and playing hard for them. I feel terrible about that. It's the worst part."

On Friday, the Phils placed Madson on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Thursday. He failed to hold leads in the first and last games of the team's recent nine-game road trip.

His roster spot will be taken by Antonio Bastardo, the lefthanded reliever who had just been optioned to Lehigh Valley to clear space for Lidge's return.

Phils manager Charlie Manuel said before Friday night's game with the Mets that he assumed Lidge will be able to close but needed to talk with him after batting practice.

After Madson allowed the Giants to tie Thursday's game at 5-5 in the 10th inning - eventually won by the Phils, 7-6, in 11 innings - he slipped while descending the steps that lead from AT&T Park's visitors dugout to its clubhouse.

That further irritated an already aggravated Madson, who then kicked the bottom of a metal folding chair. Madson at first thought the toe was just badly stubbed. But X-rays revealed a break, according to the manager.

"He was very apologetic," said Manuel, who conceded that he, too, had once broken a toe in anger, by kicking a wall in the minor leagues. "I know exactly how he feels," Manuel said.

Club officials said Madson won't be able to throw until the toe, on his push-off right foot, heals.

"The right foot [is] more of a concern," said Manuel. "You've got to let it heal."

Even if Lidge is able to close immediately, Madson's absence means Manuel will have to find another righthanded setup man for the late innings, a role likely to be filled by either Jose Contreras or Chad Durbin.

"We'll decide," said Manuel. "It changes how we do it."

Madson, 29, was 1-0 with a 7.00 ERA in nine appearances. He saved four games in six opportunities. A durable righthander, he has made the fourth-most appearances (164) in baseball since 2008.

The move necessitated that Bastardo seesaw between Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley. He had traveled to Rochester with the IronPigs before getting the call to return to Philadelphia.

"He was optioned out after the game [Thursday]," said Phils assistant GM Scott Proefrock, "and we were able to recall him today. Normally, you have to stay down at least eight days, but we were able to recall him because of the DL situation."

The Phils did not have to waste an option on Bastardo, whose ERA in seven appearances this season is 1.69. According to Proefrock, baseball's rules mandate that a player has to spend at least 19 days in the minor leagues after being optioned.

"But it's cumulative for the season," he said. "So if he goes back down this season, he could reach that."

 


Contact staff writer Frank Fitzpatrick at 215-854-5068

or ffitzpatrick@phillynews.com.