Atlanta – Prior to Saturday’s game against the Phillies, manager Fredi Gonzalez let it be known that Kris Medlen would be moving into the Braves starting rotation, and that Jair Jurrjens would be headed to the pen. The move comes just three days before Major League Baseball’s trade deadline, which arrives at 4pm on Tuesday. While General Manager Frank Wren and company will still chat with teams about starting pitchers, the Braves are confident Medlen can fill the role if a suitable trade partner cannot be found before the deadline. I asked Fredi Gonzalez if they’ll keep Medlen on a pitch count and he indicated that the Braves would likely keep him around “65 to 75 pitches.”
You may recall the Braves sent Medlen to Triple-A Gwinnett earlier this season to get stretched out, with the plan to have him join the rotation as a starter, taking the place of either Randall Delgado or Mike Minor. While at Gwinnett, both Delgado and Minor pitched well enough over those two weeks that Minor was better served back in the bullpen.
In 38 relief appearances this season, Medlen has a 2.48 ERA with 36 strikeouts, compared to 13 walks and has posed a 1.29 ERA (4 ER / 28 IP) over his last 32 appearances, dating to May 4. After spending the majority of the 2011 season on the disabled list, Medlen is excited to get a chance to show what he can contribute as a starter. “I’m really excited, don’t get me wrong” Medlen said after getting the news on Saturday. “I’m more than willing to be the one to try it out, especially ending my chance in the rotation with Tommy John” he added.
For the latest on the Braves, follow Braves Radio Network Reporter Kevin McAlpin on Twitter (@KevinMcAlpin).
Return to: Atlanta Braves Radio Network Blog