Tough luck for the Reds to start the 2012 season, as their star closer Ryan Madson will miss the entire season because of a torn ligament in his right elbow. Madson will need season-ending Tommy John surgery. A date for the surgery has not been set as of yet.

Madson had just returned to Cincinnati and was examined by team medical director, Dr. Timothy Kremchek. According to the Associated Press, Kremchek told general manager Walt Jocketty that the ligament was torn from the bone of Madson’s right elbow, and also noted that the bleeding made it appear that the tear was recent.

General Manager Jocketty stated, “He (Madson) looked very good on Tuesday. He felt some tightness the next day. He felt bad all spring until lately. Even after he sat out for a little bit and came back, he felt real good. After the live session the other day, it felt tight. But even when he left the other day, he felt fine”.

Jocketty also stated, “We talked to the team. We will stay positive. We have alternatives that we will sort through in the next few days”. Following that statement, it is believed that Reds pitcher Sean Marshall has become the new leading candidate for the closer role. There has also been chatter in the Reds organization that Aroldis Chapman could be shifted back to a bullpen role as well.

Madson had agreed in January to a one-year contract guaranteeing $8.5 million, after a $44 million, four-year year deal to stay with Philadelphia mysteriously died in November. Signing top closer Jonathan Papelbon away from the Red Sox might have had something to do with it.

Madson had recently reported discomfort in his elbow at the start of spring training, but insisted it was an “annual ailment” he has always worked through. He did not get to pitch in any exhibition games this year. He pitched batting practice Tuesday and was scheduled to throw again on Friday.

Madson’s contract calls for a $6 million salary this year, of which $2 million is postponed until November 1st, and $2 million until November 1st, 2013. The agreement includes a $11 million mutual option for 2013 with a $2.5 million buyout clause (which will be exercised when the time comes).

Many people will say that the Reds organization could have paid closer attention to Madson’s elbow when he said he felt discomfort in it. If the team had acted on his elbow when he mentioned it, some feel that the Reds could have gave him the proper treatment and rest to prevent any injuries. There is nobody that can take 100% of the blame is this type of situation because on the flip side, Madson also could have told the Reds that he was feeling uncomfortable and unable to throw until his elbow got checked out. These situations go both ways.

The Phillies signing Papelbon is looking better and better each day… and this injury just “puts the icing on the cake”. The Phillies had tried to keep Madson, but had their doubts about his health. So the Phillies went after a proven performer in Papelbon, who is considered in the top-3 closers in baseball. The Phillies though would have tried to go after Papelbon regardless if they kept Madson.

Then you think about what Ryan’s agent, Scott Boras will have to say about this situation. I am sure he probably feels like the situation could have and should have been handled better by the Reds organization. He is more than likely upset. Boras will probably try his best to get his client rehabilitated, come back strong in 2013 and work towards that valued long-term contract. The shame of the matter is that Scott’s client never even got the chance to play in Spring Training this year.

This indeed a bad break for the Reds organization, Ryan Madson, and for his agent Scott Boras. The Phillies on the other hand are praising themselves for signing Papelbon and letting Madson leave- who they were originally supposedly trying to keep. It will be interested how the conclusion of this story plays out.

I want to send a special message out to Ryan Madson: May you have a strong recovery from your injury and I hope you bounce back next season.

Dedrick Hendrix is a Baseball Intern with MLB reports. He is currently a college student at Ivy Tech Community College majoring in communications. Dedrick is a long time Mariners fan and major Ichiro Suzuki fan. He began getting into baseball his junior year in high school when he made the varsity team and played DH/RF. Dedrick loves writing about baseball and hopes to become a great and successful writer. You can follow Dedrick Hendrix on Twitter (@IDeserveAnESPY)

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