Bobby Madritsch last pitched in the Mariners’ starting rotation before a torn labrum knocked him out of action in early 2005. The Phils would reportedly offer the 31-year-old left-hander a minor league deal.
Few remember Madritsch was Seattle’s best pitcher in the second half of 2004, so effective that manager Bob Melvin pitched him relentlessly until his arm fell off. He’s pitched only 4 2-3 innings since. He was released by the Mariners after 2005, was claimed off waivers by Kansas City before '06, and didn’t pitch an inning. Looking for another chance, he showed up in Clearwater last week, according to the Times.
In 2004, his only real taste of the Majors, Madritsch went 6-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 15 appearances, 11 as a starter, posting a 60/33 K/BB ratio. He will rely on a late-breaking fastball that hits 91 on the gun.
Baseball Prospectus called him “totally unflappable” in their 2005 primer, back when he was considered Seattle’s only true lock at a spot in the rotation. Nicknamed “Mad” Madritsch, the Native American is a true intimidator and a fighter, complete with a giant tattoo of a medicine wheel on his neck.
Nothing's been easy. According to a 2004 profile in USA Today, he grew up in a gang-filled area on Chicago's South Side, dropped out of college, pitched for four independent league teams and recovered from reconstructive surgery, all before making it to the majors as a 28-year-old rookie. Here’s the profile. [Link]
His arm has been his own worst enemy. Soon after the Reds drafted him in the 6th round of the '98 draft, he severed his rotator cuff. He added a torn labrum on top of it, and continued to pitch ... and pitch ... and pitch. As a minor league signing, he’s worth a flyer – out of courtesy, if nothing else. It’s a miracle he's made it this far, and it would take a miracle for his journey to continue.