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Top Stories of 2006 -- Madson and Floyd, aka Crash and Burn

The Phillies entered Spring Training in 2006 with only three rotation slots set - Jon Lieber, Brett Myers, and Cory Lidle.   As March progressed, the team got a better picture of who would fill the last two spots - Ryan Madson, erstwhile reliever whose only previous big league start could have best been compared to the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and Gavin Floyd, who with a fine spring line seemed to finally be living up to the projections that led the Phils to draft him in the first round in 2001.

With three homegrown young hurlers in the rotation, and mercurial Cole Hamels biding his time in the minors, the planets seemed to be aligning.   All of the promising young arms in the farm system were maturing at once, and would complement the club's terrific offense.  But, like the man said, Young Pitchers Will Break Your Heart.

Madson and Floyd were flat-out terrible.  Floyd posted a 7.29 ERA in 11 starts, with a mind-boggling 14 home runs allowed in 54.3 innings, and found himself in Triple-A in early June.  Madson made it to 17 starts in two separate stretches, realizing only some semblance of success later in the season in the bullpen.

The struggles of Madson and Floyd contributed significantly to yet another slow start for the Phillies, which ultimately cost the team a trip to the postseason.

As for Floyd, he's the White Sox' problem now, having been shipped to Chicago along with Gio Gonzalez for Freddy Garcia.  Madson's apparent inability to add an effective third pitch has led to permanent banishment to the bullpen.  And for better or worse, the Phillies have six starters (Liebermyershamelsgarciaeatonmoyer) at the time of this writing -- whether they're going to be any good remains to be seen.