Updates from Monday, Mar. 17
David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the latest on Kris Medlen's injured arm:
Kris medlen will undergo a second Tommy John surgery tomorrow midday. Beachy is going to LA for second opinion from Dr. Elattrache— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) March 17, 2014
Updates from Friday, Mar. 14
Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network has the latest on Medlen's potential surgery:
Medlen and Beachy will seek another opinion from Dr James Andrews on Monday. #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) March 14, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Mar.12
David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Medlen is likely to have a second Tommy John surgery:
"High likelihood" that #Braves Medlen is going to need a 2nd Tommy John surgery— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) March 12, 2014
Mark Bowman of MLB.com confirmed O'Brien's report, and gave a bit of Medlen's mindset:
Kris Medlen confirms he has spent the past couple days preparing himself to undergo a second TJ surgery— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 12, 2014
O'Brien and Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network also provided insight from the pitcher on his arm issues:
#Braves Medlen said he felt it on last pitch to Granderson, was angry and in denial as he threw 2 more pitches before coming out of game— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) March 12, 2014
Medlen: "I feel like I carry the flag for the underdogs and the people that believe in themselves and no one else does" #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) March 12, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Mar. 11
Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network has the latest on Medlen:
Kris Medlen's MRI revealed involvement of the ligament. He will continue to be evaluated. #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) March 11, 2014
Wren: "the MRI does show some involvement in the ligament. We dont know the extent yet, hes going to have continued tests" #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) March 11, 2014
Wren: "MRI's on previous Tommy Johns are not as clear, not as precise. It makes it a little more difficult" #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) March 11, 2014
Wren (if Medlen will see Dr James Andrews): "since Dr. Andrews did the surgery, that's likley, but haven't determined that yet. #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) March 11, 2014
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen left Sunday's spring training game against the New York Mets after 3.2 innings with an injured forearm.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com provided the details:
Medlen has a right forearm strain. He'll be further evaluated on Monday.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 9, 2014
Medlen didn't speak to the media following his exit from the game, via Bowman:
The always accommodating Medlen chose not to talk to the media. This gives you a sense of what he is feeling leading up to tomorrow's MRI— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 9, 2014
Manager Fredi Gonzalez did speak to the media about Medlen. He expressed optimism about his status, via Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan:
Fredi (on Kris Medlen): "I think after everything settled down, we're optimistic it's nothing really major" #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) March 9, 2014
The unfortunate thing with an injury like this is how vague it is. As Bleacher Report injury expert Will Carroll pointed out, we won't know more until all the tests are done:
Medlen's forearm strain doesn't tell us much. Likely to be more tests, imaging.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) March 9, 2014
Medlen has been a staple of Atlanta's rotation after being inserted into the group midway through the 2012 season. He posted a 1.57 ERA that year and started the team's Wild Card Game against St. Louis.
He had another stellar season in 2013, posting a 3.11 ERA with 157 strikeouts in 197 innings. The Braves have built one of the best young rotations in baseball with Medlen, Julio Teheran and Mike Minor.
Losing one of that trio for any amount of time could put a dent in Atlanta's hopes to repeat as National League East champs, especially with Washington looking to rebound after a disappointing 2013 season.
If Medlen can't return by the start of the season, the pressure rises on veteran Freddy Garcia or young star Alex Wood, who, as Bowman notes, pitched well for the Braves last season, posting a 0.90 ERA in five starts last August.