TEMPE, Ariz. -- Ryan Madson threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Monday, ramping up the intensity to an estimated 70-80 percent. It was his fourth since getting shut down for more than a month on Feb. 1 and it brought Madson "the soreness I've been waiting for."
"I think I'm feeling what I should've been feeling from the start -- the good stretch, the good pain, not the shutdown stuff," said Madson, the Tommy John product who was shut down for more than a month because of elbow soreness, then felt some less-threatening tightness after a March 14 session.
"It just feels like I actually got in there and broke some of that stuff up. But it also feels like I can throw again today. That's what I feel now."
The 32-year-old right-hander, who will open the season on the disabled list, will travel with the Angels to Southern California for their exhibition Freeway Series against the Dodgers, but isn't sure if he'll go with them on their season-opening road trip through Cincinnati and Texas.
Madson is expected to play catch again on Tuesday and could throw his next bullpen session soon after. There's still no date set for him to get in some games, but Madson hardly ever throws more than 30 pitches in the bullpen when fully healthy. At this point, it's all about ramping up the intensity and bouncing back healthy.
Madson is still throwing only fastballs off a mound, but has occasionally thrown his changeup on flat ground to maintain a feel for his specialty pitch.
"For some reason, it's just always been there," Madson said. "I've been blessed with that."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.