ANAHEIM -- Ryan Madson was hopeful of being activated by the end of this week, but the Angels have called an audible. Instead of bringing him back after two rehab outings in the California League, they'll send him out on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Salt Lake -- probably before the end of the week -- so he can get more outings under his belt and iron out his mechanics after his yearlong recovery from Tommy John surgery.
"Last couple times he's been on the mound, on any given day that he's pitched in his rehab, he's had enough stuff to pitch in the Major Leagues," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Now he just needs to work on fine-tuning some things, the command, having some guys on base -- just finish off a couple things that he's going to face in a Major League game and seeing how he bounces back."
Madson got really aggressive in his rehab recently, throwing off a mound with high intensity every other day leading up to his first rehab appearance for Class A Inland Empire on Monday, when he pitched a clean ninth inning and recorded a strikeout. The 32-year-old planned on making one more appearance there, either Wednesday or Thursday, before being activated.
But the Angels decided to play it safe, even though Madson's arm only feels "normal soreness" at this point.
"I respect that," Madson said. "They want to make sure the experience here is not too much on my arm too early. It shows they care. They don't want me going out too early and getting hurt. I totally get it. I respect the decision."
With the Salt Lake Bees, Madson will pitch in what he described as "normal-use situations" rather than every other day. Neither he nor the Angels feels he needs to pitch in back-to-back games before being deemed ready.
As for how long he'll pitch in Triple-A, Madson mentioned "a couple weeks," but Scioscia -- who reiterated that Madson is "very close" -- was hesitant to put a timeline on it.
"If everything goes the way we anticipate," Scioscia said, "not very long at all."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read 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.