Ryan Madson saved 30 games in 2016, the second time he's reached that milestone in three years. He sustained his velocity, which has rebounded since 2010, while notching fewer than 3.0 BB/9 for his sixth straight season and continuing his sometimes decent, sometimes great ability to induce groundballs. That's just about where the positives end, though. After all, he blew seven save chances. Madson's strikeout rate was his lowest since 2006, and his ERA was soared to its highest mark since that same season. He also struggled to get ahead with first-pitch strikes. Perhaps he was fatigued two years removed from a three-year, injury-riddled absence. While his stuff probably will be good enough that he'll improve in the strikeout column, he comes into 2017 as one of the shakiest closers -- that is, if the Athletics don't trade him or demote him. Speculating on a successor likely will pay off more than buying Madson, even at his low market value.
Madson allowed no runs on one hit while striking out three over 1.1 innings to earn his first save Saturday against the Mariners. Madson was protecting a one-run lead, and he successfully closed out his first save opportunity in eight outings this month. There has yet to be an indication that his role in the bullpen has changed, but he's certainly capable of doing well if given an opportunity to close. For now, his fantasy value is as a setup man.
Madson fired a scoreless eighth inning in Thursday's 9-6 win over the Mariners and recorded a strikeout. The veteran righty was used on back-to-back days for the third time this season and replicated his line from Wednesday's victory over the Rangers. Madson has been solid in a setup role thus far, notching a pair of holds and lowering his ERA to 1.50 with Thursday's effort. He's allowed just one run and one walk over his first six innings as well, and he could pick up the occasional save opportunity on days when Santiago Casilla is unavailable .
Madson allowed two hits over one scoreless inning in Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Royals. He recorded a strikeout. Madson, who boasts 85 career saves, nevertheless looks like manager Bob Melvin's primary eighth-inning option for the foreseeable future. The A's skipper has already designated Sean Doolittle and Santiago Casilla as his lefty/righty closer combo, leaving Madson as a highly viable setup option to either. The veteran reliever has been deployed in the eighth in three of his four appearances thus far, with the only exception being a ninth-inning stint in a non-save scenario against the Rangers on April 8. Madson has yet to allow a run over 3.1 innings while also generating a 4:1 K:BB.
Madson notched his second hold in Tuesday's 7-6 loss to the Angels, giving up one hit and recording a strikeout over a scoreless eighth inning. Madson came through in a tough spot in the eighth for the second time in as many nights Tuesday, successfully navigating the potent trio of Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. The veteran threw just 13 pitches, getting nine into the strike zone and earning his second hold of the young season. Given manager Bob Melvin's liberal use of his relievers thus far -- as well as Madson's own established track record as a closer -- it's likely the 36-year-old righty will get his share of ninth-inning opportunities this season as well.
Madson was credited with his first hold of the season in Monday's 4-2 Opening Day win over the Angels, giving up a hit and a walk over one-third of an inning. Manager Bob Melvin deployed three of his closer options over the eighth and ninth innings Monday, with Santiago Casilla getting the first crack to close out a win. Madson was brought in to relieve lefty Sean Doolittle after the latter got the first two outs in the eighth and had to wade through the dangerous trio of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron. Madson surrendered a two-bagger to Trout and then intentionally walked Pujols before inducing a fielder's choice groundout from Cron to escape the frame. Melvin appears comfortable with keeping the closer role a fluid one to start the season, so holds may be Madson's most consistent fantasy contribution for the time being.
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