Injuries: Medlen headed for MRI on hip, Lee played with torn thumb ligament

Braves pitcher Kris Medlen was scheduled to have an MRI on his hip Thursday, Braves general manager Frank Wren said. Medlen missed the last two months of the season after undergoing ligament transplant surgery on his elbow. But Wren said he has had lingering hip pain from a start he made in Los Angeles in early June.

Medlen is not expected back from elbow surgery until August or September of next season at the earliest. He was 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 31 games last year for the Braves, including 14 starts.

Lee’s torn thumb ligament

First baseman Derrek Lee played the last two months of the season with a torn thumb ligament, Wren said. His thumb injury was reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in early September, but Lee did not want to acknowledge the injury or the extent of it. Wren said Thursday Lee first jammed his right thumb on Opening Day with the Cubs in Atlanta. It had improved when he was traded to the Braves on Aug. 18, but he tore it about a week later.

Lee played the rest of the season with an injury even more severe that what kept Jason Heyward out of action for three weeks and hindered him the six weeks prior. Lee received two pain-killing injections and took only an occasional day off.

“Bobby (Cox) and (trainer) Jeff Porter both said this is one tough guy to play with what he’s playing with,” Wren said.

Lee, who becomes a free agent, still hit .287 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 39 games for the Braves.

68 comments Add your comment

Powderfinger

October 14th, 2010
3:17 pm

Meaningless First!

I wish he had gone on the DL, and we could have given Freeman a shot…

Fish Bisch

October 14th, 2010
3:17 pm

Ruper

October 14th, 2010
3:19 pm

Wow, just gained a lot more respect for D Lee. Enjoyed seeing him a Braves uniform, too bad it was short-lived.

Hire Greg Walker hitting Coach

October 14th, 2010
3:26 pm

Great job and effort Lee..Thanks

Dan in West Georgia

October 14th, 2010
3:28 pm

You really think Freeman would have done better than a gold glove winner hitting .287 with .6 RBIs a game?

GTSteve

October 14th, 2010
3:28 pm

I wonder if Lee would sign an affordable 1 year deal

ijudgenot

October 14th, 2010
3:32 pm

Well, thats very manly of him to play with that sore thumb and he did provide a stable defense at first, but the Braves did not make the trade for him for his defense. They had Freeman who plays good 1st base defense. They got him to be the power right handed hitter that would put fear in the opposing pitchers, especially left handers. He did not do that. He probably struckout more against lefties than righties. Whats telling is that he knew he had this injury since the beginning of the year, but did not tell the Braves until after they traded for him. As I said in an earlier post look for Lee to be back with the Cubs next year at a lesser salary. he was loyal to the Cubs and got them 3 prospects from the Braves. Look to see the big rihthander from Mississippi who helped Teheran throw a no-hiiter this year, up with the Cubs next year.

Rupert

October 14th, 2010
3:35 pm

It’s called man-ing up. Jurjens should look into it.

Chop Chop

October 14th, 2010
3:50 pm

Lee’s gone. Good luck, Derrek.

As for Medlen, he might as well get everything poked and prodded while he’s on the sidelines. No reason to come back with any other lingering issues.

TomaHawkSINCE-81

October 14th, 2010
3:59 pm

Chipper player/hitting coach??

gumbylovespokey

October 14th, 2010
4:12 pm

Oh my goodness, can’t believe the naysayers on Lee’s thumb. He could have just mailed it in the rest of the way if he wanted. If he was damaged goods and the Braves weren’t informed, they probably have recourse, this is big business folks with contracts, attorneys, the works. Get real, fact is he was one of our best (only!) bats down the stretch, Freeman would have done no better and like GTSteve, I would be happy to have him back for a year to platoon with Freeman and bring him along properly instead of throwing him into a full 162 game year like we did with Heyward and expect a different outcome. Isn’t that the definition of insanity.

csc

October 14th, 2010
4:13 pm

Would Lee possibly a Type A or B free agent? Could we receive compensation in terms of a draft pick if we offered him a contract for 2011?

Keith

October 14th, 2010
4:20 pm

Crazy to think that Lee was our best player the last 2 weeks of the regular season.

GTSteve

October 14th, 2010
4:25 pm

He might not have been the best, but he was far from a bust….and if this story is true, he could be valuable next year….and I think a right handed power bat is what everyone is screaming for…As far as the Cubs loyalty, that could be true, but I would like to see Lee and Freeman platooning at 1st next year

GTSteve

October 14th, 2010
4:42 pm

Lee is a type B free agent

GTSteve

October 14th, 2010
4:47 pm

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/09/2011-mlb-free-agents.html

You subtract about 3 names off of that list, and it is very sad

GTSteve

October 14th, 2010
4:47 pm

Ok, now I am answering myself, time to go

The Booby and Brooksy show

October 14th, 2010
5:46 pm

Wren needs to give all the Braves players who are to be free agents a cold shoulder. Then he can sign anybody coming off injury and put them at positions they never played before and sign more utility players and start them. Keep the tradition alive. He could bring back all former braves with the exception of LaRoche and hope another emergence of baby braves would take over. Sign Manny Ramirez and start Jordan Schafer so they can eject each other.

Powderfinger

October 14th, 2010
6:28 pm

Enter your comments here

Powderfinger

October 14th, 2010
6:31 pm

ijudgenot

October 14th, 2010
3:32 pm
“Well, thats very manly of him to play with that sore thumb and he did provide a stable defense at first, but the Braves did not make the trade for him for his defense. They had Freeman who plays good 1st base defense. They got him to be the power right handed hitter that would put fear in the opposing pitchers, especially left handers. He did not do that. He probably struckout more against lefties than righties. Whats telling is that he knew he had this injury since the beginning of the year, but did not tell the Braves until after they traded for him. As I said in an earlier post look for Lee to be back with the Cubs next year at a lesser salary. he was loyal to the Cubs and got them 3 prospects from the Braves. Look to see the big rihthander from Mississippi who helped Teheran throw a no-hiiter this year, up with the Cubs next year.”

My point exactly. What did we have to lose? Another frustrating trip to the playoffs? I would have rolled the dice, if we knew the truth…

roja

October 14th, 2010
6:31 pm

Maybe Lee’s .287 average put a lot more fear into opposing pitchers than Freeman’s .167?

Braves Fan Lost In Ohio

October 14th, 2010
6:33 pm

Mad props to D. Lee! I know it’s not going to happen, but I would LOVE to keep him another year.

Powderfinger

October 14th, 2010
6:35 pm

Just how many at-bats was Freeman’s .167 BA based on?

Sam

October 14th, 2010
6:46 pm

Doesn’t it seem weird that he injured himself on the 1st day? Who did we trade for him I can’t remember?

Powderfinger

October 14th, 2010
6:49 pm

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate D. Lee’s efforts. It’s a real fine line between playing hurt and playing injured. How many times have we been burned because the player didn’t let on just how bad things were. For example, Lowe finally acknowledges his elbow issues, gets a shot, and when he comes back he’s a much better pitcher. I sure hopes he gets the floating bone chips removed during the off-season…

Jay

October 14th, 2010
6:49 pm

Freeman is not ready. Sign Lee to a one year 3 million dollar contract, with incentives for games played and home runs.

Powderfinger

October 14th, 2010
6:54 pm

Freeman’s not ready, just like Heyward wasn’t this season.

Sucks To Be Glen Hubbard

October 14th, 2010
6:56 pm

I like D. Lee. I wish he were affordable. I think if healthy he probably has some productive baseball left in him. I do know he is one of the best gloves I have EVER seen over there and that includes a year of Tex!

I know he’s gone, but I would like to have a full year of a healthy D. Lee.

DC Dude

October 14th, 2010
6:56 pm

Now when is J Hey gonna admit that his thumb injury was more serious and painful than he let on? His swing never remotely recovered after the All Star break.

David O'Brien

October 14th, 2010
6:58 pm

Jay, that’d be great, but such pay-for-play performance incentives (home runs) aren’t permitted. Games played are, and at-bats, and plate appearances, but not performance standards such as homers, RBIs, etc.

David O'Brien

October 14th, 2010
6:59 pm

Powerderfinger: Lowe has no plans at all to get bone chip removed in offseason. He’s had it 10 years, and only bothered him for first time this season. After he sat out a start and got cortisone shot, it was fine.

Powderfinger

October 14th, 2010
7:11 pm

DOB: I guess that’s fine, but don’t you think it’s a valid point regarding the fine line between hurt and injured? At what point does it damage the team?

NCBravesFan

October 14th, 2010
7:25 pm

That makes a lot of sense on Lee – his power numbers for the Braves were not good at all. Dang if the Braves didn’t have a boatload of bad luck this year in the injury department.

Powderfinger

October 14th, 2010
7:55 pm

Boatload my butt. More like a cruise ship load…

Chillahill43

October 14th, 2010
8:18 pm

Give him glause and melky money and keep
him. And some other money too dont think freddy is gonna be ready anyway thinks itll be the next year 2012. How many mil a year will he receive in FA could we afford him with at bat incentives and such or is he gonna get big $$ somewhere else??? A helthy d lee would be fun to see. His d is awsome and if hes healthy. Geze. The right handed power hitter thsts healthy would be fun. Huh?

Powderfinger

October 14th, 2010
8:37 pm

I’d rather go ahead and play Freeman, and spend the money on an outfielder who hits for power. Did you not observe the problems from this past season?

Chillahill43

October 14th, 2010
11:34 pm

I did snd i also saw freddy freemans problems in the 26 at bsts in sept.. Hope he can make it but another negative. Left handed hitter heavy mcout if back. Mclazy behind plate Roy RU in right FF at 1st need some rght handed power and if we dont get a LF then first base could make sense if FF aint ready

LuisG

October 15th, 2010
12:29 am

Hey DOB! I’d like to know how did Nate convince you to write “He can play center or left, so at least they have flexibility in the search for outfield help.” I think he can’t play left, judging from what we saw in september. He can barely fill in for someone in left, but not as a trustable guy, and can barely throw to the infield from his CF position.

Do you have any information on whether McLouth or Kawakami will be playing winter ball this year?

David O'Brien

October 15th, 2010
12:42 am

LuisG, did you really ask me if Kawakami would be playing winter ball this year?

Tami

October 15th, 2010
10:51 am

Well, dang. Maybe the team should offer Lee an opportunity to re-sign and be one of the bench guys, spot-relieving Freeman as well. I had no idea he had that serious of an injury. I knew he was injured, though. I’d like to see what a healthy Lee could do for the team, personally.

Tami

October 15th, 2010
10:53 am

DOB: Funny comment to LuisG about KK playing winter ball. NO, he won’t — of course. But, I can see the reason why LuisG asked. Since the Braves are stuck with him, how can they improve him and get some of their investment in him back? <—…that was a rhetorical, there.

Braves Fan Lost in Ohio

October 15th, 2010
11:43 am

You people need to give up on getting Lee back. Not gonna happen. He was a rental, and a damn good one, but Lee NEEDS to go somewhere where he can sign a multi-year deal, while he still can.

Ready or not, here comes Freeman, and hopefully we sign a decent RH 1B to back him up. Might it be Glaus? It’s a possibility.

Sure hope we can find a way to keep Hinske around, but the puzzle pieces may not come together that way.

ChipperSu__cKs.com

October 15th, 2010
11:51 am

Hinskie may get a better offer….. anbody remember that chipper LF experiment……. Makes Heywood look like a gold glover

ChipperSu__cKs.com

October 15th, 2010
11:56 am

Freeman’s not ready, just like Heyward wasn’t this season…..

Chipper should be sent back to minors?

Skeezix

October 15th, 2010
12:28 pm

Did not know D.Lee was hurt. He is a tough guy to play despite the pain. He’s a great glove at first–I’d like to see him get healthy and for the Braves to give him another shot next year.

Hi, I'm Greg Norton

October 15th, 2010
12:31 pm

Braves fans–meet your new hitting coach.

Reid in EAV

October 15th, 2010
1:07 pm

I’d take Nort as a hitting coach in a heartbeat. Just because he lost bat speed in his last year and went 11-for-76 (I think) it doesn’t mean he’s a baseball ignoramus. Baseball idiots don’t manage a Marlins AAA affiliate, as he’s doing now. (And he started as that team’s hitting coach.)

Bobby Cox, remember, played only two seasons in MLB. The best players are not usually the best managers / coaches. Often just the opposite. The classic position for a future manager is backup catcher. (Remember Crash Davis in “Bull Durham?” Fictional, of course, but a lot of truth in that portrayal.)

Tomahawk'n

October 15th, 2010
1:34 pm

Where was the Braves’ due diligence before trading for Lee???????? I guess Lee never mentioned anything about his thumb, and Dumb@@@ Wren never had Lee do a physical. If that’s the case, Wren should be dismissed IMMEDIATELY.
Does Len Barker ring a bell????

Milky Cabrera

October 15th, 2010
1:36 pm

You chumps really think that Heyward wasn’t ready, despite being better than half of the outfielders in the MLB. Jeez, the guy got hurt and had TP teaching him, so by my standards thats pretty good

Powderfinger

October 15th, 2010
3:03 pm

Let me be clear; I guess I should have used italics to convey my sarcasm. My point is that Freeman is ready for next season, just like Heyward was ready for this past season.

Chillahill43

October 15th, 2010
4:07 pm

Freeman aint ready. And 9 months from now. Ya’ll will be saying why didnt we …,, freddy is another year away. Remember. You saw it here !! From a man that never sleeps!

Nate

October 15th, 2010
6:52 pm

Freeman had a low average but hit the ball really hard, just couldn’t find a gap….I remembering see him take a couple of called 3rd strikes on questionable back door pitcher strikes….bottom line, he has been consistent at every level when playing everyday. Lee should not even be considered. The only emotion I saw out of him was when Glaus started the double play in game 2 of the NLDS. I like emotions and excitment in the game…he is a tall dude that cant catch up to the fastball anymore. Offer him obitration and hope he aint another Soriano.

Powderfinger

October 15th, 2010
7:08 pm

Are you kidding me? Freeman had the grand total of 24 AB last season. You’re basing your opinion of whether or not he’s ready for MLB on that?
Do not overpay to keep D. Lee; please spend the money on a power-hitting OF. I’m can’t believe we’re having this discussion.

LuisG

October 16th, 2010
1:04 am

Yes, DOB, I’m talking about Kawakami playing winter ball this year. I mean, a player in a situation like his (no reason to give any details about him, everybody knows) must be asked (forced) to keep working on his pitching/control/command; he went to AAA and then got called up and didn’t change a bit. People say the Dominican League will be pretty cometitive. Some veteran players will be playing here trying to land a MLB contract and some pretty good prospects will be playing here.

Nate McLouth? Same thing!

Oh, wait, MLB must’ve released (a while ago) the “Extreme Fatigue” thing and they’re both in it… aren’t they?

scott

October 16th, 2010
9:04 am

Blah blah blah Lee shouldn’t have even been on the Braves roster at all ,Good riddance.

bowilly

October 16th, 2010
11:37 am

DOB, Did that thumb of D Lee’s occur during a headfirst slide? As I have stated in the past, Head first slides should be outlawed throughout Braves Organization. Fines assessed if it happens in a game. Look through baseball and the thumb injuries caused by headfirst slides.

bowilly

October 16th, 2010
12:17 pm

Oh, one other comment. I keep hearing that phrase “Under-Funded”. There where two teams in Playoffs that are half the payroll as Braves. Look at all the Dead Wood we have on this team now and costing us Millions.

bvillebaron

October 16th, 2010
1:13 pm

bowilly:

Tell me who those two teams are that made the playoffs with half of the Braves’ payroll and tell me exactly what those two teams’ total payroll was and how it compares with the Braves please.

Steve

October 16th, 2010
1:36 pm

Can anybody tell me why they kept Terry Pendelton?

Rich W

October 16th, 2010
2:17 pm

Don Baylor was let go by Rockies. Sign him NOW as hitting coach. I remember he helped Chipper a few years ago. He’s the one.

BBUA

October 16th, 2010
5:41 pm

Here is what the Braves need to do.

1) Hire a hitting coach (Baylor, Milt Thompson, Greg Walker, or the cubs hitting coach, can’t think of his name).

2) Sign D Lee to a contract for next season, He would provide insurance in case Freeman’s is not ready, platoon situation for tough lefthanded pitchers, right handed pinch hitter and leadership in the club house.

3) Obtain above power hitting outfielder for LF or CF.

4) Round out the bench

5) Play ball

David O'Brien

October 16th, 2010
5:54 pm

BBUA: As Wren noted, Derrek Lee is still an everyday player, not a platoon player or “insurance policy.” He’s going to be offered good money to be a starting first baseman for someone, so why would he take an offer from Atlanta when they have a top prospect penciled in to be their starting 1B? Lee’s not at the point in his career where he needs to sign on as a mentor/part-time/platoon player.

nashvillewill

October 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

Granted, I only watch Braves on tv, but from my vantage point Lee was terrible. Virtually nothing in clutch situations. And Gonzalez was worse! Dump ‘em both, IMO. And McClouth and Ankiel and Diaz. Braves need a new clutch of outfielders. 1B may be a problem with FF. Can Braves go out and find a 1B backup, a la Hinske? Keep Hinske, let most of rest of bench go elsewhere, if they can find teams. And, please name Infante as everyday player somewhere — I say, LF. He and McCann were only hitters that had the possibility of delivering reliably down the stretch.

jwilli120

October 18th, 2010
12:33 pm

INFANTE needs to play everyday he and PRADO did damage @ the
top of the order, the problem is no one else hit after them,
we need contact hitters after these guys not swing and miss
guys….nuff said

Bro

October 18th, 2010
1:10 pm

Bobby Cox really hurt the Braves every time that he let a player with a serious injury-like Lee’s thumb play. An injury of this kind makes it extremely hard to get the bat around and limits a player’s mobility with his hands. Only a fool would jeapodize his teams chances just to play a injured player. This is the prime example of a player’s manager, but not a team’s manager. He hurt everyone one on the team with his stubborn loyalty to the vets. Sorry Bobby, but you failed all the other players and fans when you allowed this to happen.

heartofdarkness

October 19th, 2010
11:05 am

Derrek Lee was a model for this year’s Braves. He played hurt, competed even when things seemed to be going against him, and earned the respect of baseball fans everywhere. D. Lee and his team mates were winners in a much bigger game than baseball.
DOB, have you any thoughts on whether Lowe’s bone chip, which would have likely broken free from scar tissue that had restrained its movement over his career, might now be more likely to be a problem going forward. Certainly, Lowe was much more effective when he regained range of motion in the elbow following his shot and shutdown. Cortisone will reduce swelling, but it does not dissolve the chip. The Phil’s Polanco has had four cortisone shots this year, which would indicate they are losing their effectiveness.

David O'Brien

October 19th, 2010
1:51 pm

heartofdarkness: i’m no doc, so all I can tell you is what Lowe told me when I asked him about bone chip day after season. He said the docs told him let’s see how it acts in last month of season before deciding if any surgery needed. Since he had no problems with it at all rest of way, and has had it for 10 yrs, he said they will not do anything with it.

Mike Lum

October 21st, 2010
12:19 pm

It would be nice to be able to keep him, Lee, for one more season or even part of next and then trade him for a prospect or two in June. He would be great insurance for Freeman and a righthanded bat….but I know.. expensive.
Is there NO chance Glaus comes back. When he was healthy he carried the team. When he wasn’t though…ugh I’m sure he’d be cheaper than Lee and maybe with work over there, he could fill in at 3rd some? …probably not. I’m sure Wren has some plan for when Chipper isn’t playing which we know won’t be more than 90 full games. I think, chemistry wise, that having your 3 hitter go in and out like that couldn’t be good. Maybe drop him to the 6 spot.

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