Kawakami not surprised by move to the bullpen

Despite his dominant start against the Tigers Saturday, a move to the bullpen was almost inevitable for Kenshin Kawakami and he knew it.

The Braves announced Monday night Kawakami was moving to a relief role, rather than Kris Medlen, with Jair Jurrjens returning to the rotation from the disabled list Wednesday night.

“Looking at my stats, I’m not surprised,” said Kawakami, through his interpreter.

He needed seven one-run innings vs. the Tigers to win his first game of the year. He’s 1-9 with a 4.48 ERA.

“To me everything as a whole was just bad,” he said.

Kawakami wasn’t surprised and he didn’t want to use the word “disappointed” either.

“It wouldn’t be right saying I’d be disappointed because in the bullpen there’s also a job too, a very important job,” Kawakami said. “As a member of this team, I just need to do my best to contribute as much in a different role.”

Kawakami is 8-19 with a 4.16 ERA in 40 games in the last two years as a starter. He went 0-2 with a 2.63 and one save in seven games as a reliever late last season after moving to the bullpen when Tim Hudson returned from elbow surgery.

This time it was Kris Medlen who “beat” Kawakami out. Medlen has gone 4-0 with a 3.40 ERA in nine starts in Jurrjens’ absence.

“Medlen has pitched well all season,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “There was no way you could take him out of the rotation.”

Medlen said he hasn’t approached his job as a battle for a rotation spot.

“It seemed like people were making it a competition, when I was just going in and filling in for JJ, that’s how I thought about it,” Medlen said. “I didn’t want to go and take someone’s job or anything. KK went out and battled his (butt) off every time he goes out. It’s tough to say he pitched bad but you look at his record. It’s a business and he wasn’t winning games I guess.”

11 comments Add your comment

Reality 4

June 29th, 2010
7:05 pm

I wish KK the best. I think he will have several more starts this year. I can’t believe that the 5 starters can go the rest of the season without missing some starts. I hope JJ is back, but I won’t believe it until I actually see it.

YoungerThan ThatNow

June 29th, 2010
7:08 pm

It couldn’t have been a surprise to Kawakami, even though his numbers are very comparable to Derek Lowe’s except for the win-loss record. He’s pitched a lot better than his record indicates and pitched a great game over the weekend… again with very little run support. But he’s a classy guy and a professional and reacted like it. Happy for Medlen though… he deserves this spot and has pitched very well.

Matt's Big Breakfast

June 29th, 2010
7:09 pm

are you at the game DOB


June 29th, 2010
7:12 pm

The sun don’t shine in the same dogs eyes all time.Kawakamis day will come.


June 29th, 2010
8:05 pm

Matt’s Big Breakfast, look at who wrote the article, not whose picture is at the top of the page. How can we get that changed? I’d rather look at Carroll.


June 29th, 2010
9:08 pm

at this moment kk has an era lower than hanson or lowe. where are the articles about sending them to the bullpen or the minors or trading them. if you put him in their spot, his record is as good (or better) than either of them.

Coach D

June 29th, 2010
10:26 pm

Unfortunately I can’t get a picture I saw on tv the other day out of my head. It was after a win about a week and a half or so ago and when J.J. was congratulating everyone he was using his left hand. Totally avoiding his right side. I really hope he’s good to go, but am somewhat pessimistic. K.K. will do fine wherever he pitches.


June 30th, 2010
12:03 am

What goes around comes around…hang in KK, the pen needs help.


June 30th, 2010
12:13 am


being able to move KK to our bullpen just mad the bp that much better. We just need Hanson(can you please mix in more lower balls for stirkes?) and Lowe to pitch a little better and get Jurrjens back to his true form.


June 30th, 2010
1:52 am

Who are the Braves moving down to make room for KK in the pen?

Braves Fan Since "80

June 30th, 2010
3:56 pm

I have always said if he were 9-1 we call him a stud at 1-9 we must call him a dud…… Lowe or Hanson may need a break after the break. If KK can come out of the pen and not bring the ist inning blues with him Bobby may bring an earlier hook…. KK may prove vital down the stretch

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