With the injury concerns among their pitching staff mounting, there was already a growing concern developing within the Atlanta Braves organization. Perhaps the biggest concern focused on Kris Medlen, who’d left his start on Sunday following just a few pitches due to what was being described as a strained forearm. Medlen underwent an MRI on Monday to determine the full extent of the injury, but the results still left questions on the table. The 28 year old will undergo further tests in order to determine if additional surgery will be necessary.
Medlen missed most of the 2011 season to Tommy John surgery. He’s been an unsung hero on the team’s pitching staff since and figured to step into the team’s #1 role this year following the offseason departure of Tim Hudson. Medlen made 31 starts for the team a year ago, pitching to a 3.11 ERA and 1.223 WHIP over 197.0 IP.
The right-hander spoke with reporters early Wednesday, including MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, and revealed that he’s “mentally preparing himself to undergo his second Tommy John surgery”. He was angry with himself for having to come out of his start on Sunday. If he does need to undergo the procedure again he will miss at least the entire 2014 season.
With Medlen on the shelf and likely unable to pitch on Opening Day, that start could end up going to Julio Teheran instead.