Atlanta Braves have the piece they want and Kris Medlen is his name


Medlen
Kris Medlen is the answer for the Atlanta Braves.

The Atlanta Braves don’t need Zack Greinke. They don’t need James Shields. They don’t need Felix Hernandez … well, Felix might … just might help, but that’s not going to happen. What the Braves need to do is move Kris Medlen back to the rotation. They’ve been toying with it, and it’s crossed their minds during this process, but it’s their plan Z when it should be their plan A.

After listening to the game on Wednesday — after Tommy Hanson somehow walked seven batters and let seven base runners steal base after base against him, and still walked away giving up only one run — the announcers were raving about Medlen and the work he was putting in on the mound. He was dealing and has been pretty much all year.

Before Medlen went down with Tommy John surgery last year, he was 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA with 83 strikeouts to only 21 walks in 100-plus innings. Medlen going down caused a jolt in the rotation that left the Braves trying to fill the void, and the rotation became very inconsistent. It hasn’t been the same since.

It’s not that I have a problem with Grienke, Shields or Henandez, it’s just they come with deep pockets. Greinke will cost more prospects than what the Braves and fans want to part with. But the Braves will more than likely go for it, since it wouldn’t look good to most fans to not land anything after falling out of the Ryan Dempster sweepstakes. Then, Greinke will probably either walk (the Braves would get nothing) or command a very large contract, north of $20MM. Shields and Hernandez are locked for another year after this, but it would cost the same package the Braves gave up to get Mark Teixeira, which makes me go “hell no.”

So, what’s my brilliant plan? I’m glad you asked.

Braves move Medlen to the rotation. Medlen has posted a 2.48 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in 54.1 innings pitched so far, and he’s only gotten better as the season gets deeper. In the month of July, he’s posted a 0.55 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP in 16 innings with 13 Ks. Imagine Medlen back in the rotation with Tim Hudson, Hanson, Ben Sheets and Mike Minor. Sounds like a good rotation to me!

The Braves should have started with plan A: Bring Medlen back in the rotation and trade for a bullpen pitcher to fill his spot. They could put Jurrjens in the bullpen if they wanted to, but I’m not sure how that would work out. There are options out there, including Kameron Loe, who I wouldn’t mind seeing in the bullpen.

The biggest reason Medlen would be the better option here is the Braves won’t have to or feel the need to fork over a lot of cash to keep Greinke the following year. I would rather see the Braves re-sign Michael Bourn to an extension, as he’s been the reason this Braves offense ranks in the top 10 in the majors. Having the first real lead-off hitter since Rafael Furcal left has paid divedends, and it’s trickling down the lineup. Losing him would be very tough next year.

So, let’s move Kris Medlen to the rotation, trade for a good reliever and then re-sign Bourn after the season. After all, Brandon Beachy will be back next year as well.

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13 Comments

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  1. Innings limit, fine, but back and forth between bullpen and rotation and majors and minors have little to do with an innings limit and more to do with inept management. 

  2. Eric, I used to agree about jerking him around, but heard Wren was considering an innings limit in Spring Training due to him coming off TJ surgery. See my comment above.

    Go Braves!

  3. Agree with this. And for those saying it should have been sooner, consider this – Medlen was coming off TJ surgery late 2011 (he only pitched 2.1 innings). So, he’s basically in the same boat as Strasburgh this year (innings limit). Given that he’s only pitched 54 to this point, he’s in great shape to finish the year in the rotation, assuming he’s effective.

    i personally think he’ll be great as long as he can build up the endurance to go deep into ball games.
    And to those saying we need one of those big names, I think we all agree that would be awesome. Unfortunately Uncle Ted doesn’t own the Braves anymore.

  4. Holy shit, someone agrees with me… I’ve been saying this for the last 2 weeks when we have been rumored in every starting pitcher trade. Good article, just wish our management could figure this stuff out themselves.

  5. you’re an idiot. beachy will be back around the all-star break next season. as long as our bats stay consistant we’ll have no problem making the playoffs. Beachy, Hanson, Huddy, Medlen,  Minor/Delgado/Teheran, and hopefully Sheets. That rotation would be solid 

  6. He isn’t comparing them as a pitcher to those guys. He’s talking about them as pieces of a team. It would cost way too much to afford any of those guys, especially when Medlen is in our own bullpen. No cost there. The problem the Braves have is that they don’t have three reliable starters. Hell they might have two depending on Sheets (frankly I’m still not convinced). If the Braves make a playoff series, they will have a difficult time competing.

  7. beachy is not coming back next year..get real..at the earliest it would be at the end of the season…the braves will always be middle feeders until they get  real owner…MLB should have stopped liberty from buying the braves..they, along with frank wren are running the franchise into ground…they need a starter…leave medlen where he is…he has already said if they wanted him in the rotation, he’d have to go back to gwinnett fora few starts..by then the season could be out of reach..the braves need to trade for a proven starter…go get shields……

  8. what ? medlen ? cmon .. as you compare with felix hernandez or Greinke or Dempster, is that know much about baseball … If the Braves want to reach the World Series takes two experienced pitchers. otherwise the same as always happen.

  9. Hell yeah! I totally agree! Medlen did very well as a starter before he went under the knife.

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