Atlanta Braves Demote Kris Medlen to Prepare Him for the Rotation

Jim PrattContributor IIMay 29, 2012

Mark Bowman of has confirmed what the Atlanta Braves faithful have been hoping for recently when he reported Kris Medlen has been optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett to prepare for starting duties.

He will likely need two or three starts in order to get stretched out for the rotation.

#Braves Blog Updated: Medlen has been optioned to Gwinnett to prepare to be a starter…

— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) May 29, 2012

Medlen hasn’t started a big league game since 2010, spending all but 2.1 innings last year recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery.

He has been inconsistent at best in the bullpen this season, posting a 3.49 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 28.1 innings of work, albeit using primarily his fastball.

It seems Mike Minor would be the obvious choice to be sent down when Medlen is ready, but that is unconfirmed at the moment.

With Atlanta having an off-day on Thursday, it will be interesting to see if Minor gets skipped in the rotation. If that happens, look for Minor to be sent down instead of rookie Randall Delgado, who is the other possible option.

Minor has posted a 9.94 ERA in his last six starts, allowing 12 home runs and 43 hits in 31.2 innings during that span.

Atlanta might have been tempted to turn to Jair Jurrjens until he recently gave up 16 runs in two starts, although his outing Sunday was another step in the right direction.

The highly touted Julio Teheran has been solid thus far in Triple-A posting a 3.57 ERA in 10 starts, but his command issues have yet to subside as he has walked 21 batters in 45.1 innings.

In almost a side note, Bowman also mentioned that shortstop Andrelton Simmons might not be long for Turner Field.

Simmons is currently hitting .299/.380/.431 with 14 extra base hits and 10 stolen bases for Double-A Mississippi.

Atlanta might prefer to get Simmons’ Gold Glove caliber defense on the field if they are going to basically take a mulligan in the eighth spot in the batting order, especially with Tyler Pastornicky being limited defensively.