Happy birthday to Warner Madrigal — the former Texas Rangers reliever turns 36 today.
You may not remember the Warner Madrigal Experience...a righthanded hitter and thrower, Madrigal was originally signed by the Anaheim Angels out of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, and he spent the early part of the 21st century as an outfielder in their system. After spending several seasons not hitting much, the Angels converted him to pitching in 2006, and he spent 2006 and 2007 as a reliever in their system.
After the 2007 season, the Angels announced that they were purchasing the contract of Madrigal. However, they didn’t do that before the deadline for minor leaguers to become free agents, and so they weren’t able to simply purchase his contract and add him to the 40 man roster. As a free agent, Madrigal instead signed with the Rangers, and we celebrated the savvy Rangers pulling one over on the Angels.
Alas, it didn’t end up being much of a coup for the Rangers. Madrigal started the season in the minors for Texas, and was promoted in late June to the majors. He didn’t get his first big league appearance until July 2, 2008, in New York against the Yankees. Asked to come into a game where the Rangers were up 7-6 in the bottom of the 7th, trying to save a taxed bullpen, Madrigal had a disaster inning — double, walk, double, double, single, ground out, wild pitch, single. He was pulled for Jamey Wright, who allowed the inherited run to score and then allowed three of his own runs to score on a three run home run, and the Rangers went from being up 7-6 to being down 15-6.
Madrigal spent part of the 2008 and 2009 seasons in the majors, spent all of 2010 in the minors, became a free agent, and ended up spending time in the minor leagues for the Yankees, the Diamondbacks and the Nationals, but never making it back to the majors. He ended his major league career with a 6.10 ERA in 48.2 IP over 44 appearances.
Since the 2014 season, when he was with the Nationals, Madrigal has only pitched in the Winter Leagues, other than a brief 2016 stint in the Mexican League. He combined for 11.2 scoreless innings in 13 appearances this winter in the Dominican Winter League and in the Caribbean Series, and I’m guessing, if we have winter league ball in 2020-21, he’ll be back out there again.