Medlen ready for live bp, possible early return from surgery

Kris Medlen came away from a 90-pitch bullpen session Tuesday afternoon feeling good and ready to take the next step in his return from elbow reconstruction surgery – a big one. Next up, he’ll start facing hitters in live batting practice.

Medlen will head to the Braves complex in Orlando to throw batting practice in extended spring training. If all goes well in six or seven sessions every other day or so, Medlen will be ready for a minor league rehabilitation stint.

“I’ve been anxious the entire time, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s getting close,” said Medlen, who underwent “Tommy John” surgery on Aug. 18, 2010.

The Braves are building him up to return as a starter, which he would be on track to do by mid-to-late August. But if needs call for it, Medlen could return as a reliever, as soon as late July to early August.

“If we need him as a reliever, it’s easier to back him off,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “So maybe end of July, best-case scenario. Maybe early August.”

21 comments Add your comment

LT

May 31st, 2011
6:12 pm

Im pumped to have Medlen back!!! I wonder how this battle for starting rotation spots is gonna play out in August? Good problem to have I gues.

Newtonite

May 31st, 2011
6:24 pm

Just out of curiosity, who is down at Orlando for “extended Spring training” to work with Medlen? Are there rookies down there who haven’t been assigned to a team yet?

bruce

May 31st, 2011
6:46 pm

good news great to have options on how he returns…

Braves86

May 31st, 2011
7:02 pm

Love Medlen. He looked great before the injury last year! Don’t waste him in the ‘pen…he’s clearly starter material! Best of luck in Orlando Medlen!!

habberdash

May 31st, 2011
7:47 pm

with all that time off, will Medlen be able to get right back in the rotation?

anobles10

May 31st, 2011
7:59 pm

@Newtonite, there are younger players in extended spring training who will play on the rookie league teams that haven’t started their season yet, like those who will be playing for the Danville Braves, the GGL Braves who play in Orlando, and the Braves Dominican Summer League team, where many of the Latin American players start out.

Loosing Managar = Loosing Record

May 31st, 2011
9:08 pm

Like this will make a diference. Braves are domed cus they hired a loosing managar with a loosing record. U could bring Hank Aaron back from the dead and they wold still loose.

Largo

May 31st, 2011
9:27 pm

Loose = Not Tight

Lose = Don’t Win

[...] Medlin could be back and ready to start for the Braves in mid to late [...]

old fart

May 31st, 2011
10:21 pm

Medlen won’t help them this year; after returning from TJ surgery it takes about a year to learn how to pitch again. But he of the flat bill should be good to go by spring training.

TC

June 1st, 2011
8:15 am

Not sure why anyone would be pumped to have him back this year unless he can hit .300 and drive in some runs

K-Baby

June 1st, 2011
9:03 am

I am pumped because at least one of our starting pitchers is going to have a mental meltdown due to having to throw a shutout every time he pitches in order to win a game. At least Medlin can replace him when that happens in August.

Bravos Fan

June 1st, 2011
9:59 am

@ Loosing Managar = Loosing Record
[...]U could bring Hank Aaron back from the dead[...]

Last I checked Hank Aaron was still alive and kicking.

Krunch

June 1st, 2011
11:48 am

K-Baby…..+1

urban redneck

June 1st, 2011
12:03 pm

great news………………adding to our tremendous pitching depth……………..but our offense still can’t hit a lick.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

MattnAustin

June 1st, 2011
1:37 pm

Love Medlen but we have to face facts. We are going to have to deal Beachy, Minor, Jair, or Medlen for someone who can hit. Hate to say it but Freddy Freeman has been our best offensive player this year, and that ain’t saying much.

Anyone else see similarities in the Freddy/JHey history that happend with Francour and McCann in that Frenchy was hailed as the second coming, just to end up stinking so bad that we shipped him out, while the overlooked McCann has turned into a premier backstop. Seems like everyone was so quick to jump on the Heyward bandwagon (me included) and so far this year, he has been terrible, while Freeman, who everyone projected as a decent prospect, but got none of the same hype as J-Hey, is just hanging in there, getting hits, batting average is climbing daily, plays good defense and is in the line-up everyday.

Anyway, just a few thoughts that I’d been having. What’s everyone else think?

David O'Brien

June 1st, 2011
1:42 pm

Hate to say it but Freddy Freeman has been our best offensive player this year, and that ain’t saying much. — MattnAustin

What are you talking about? How has a guy (Freeman) hitting .264 with a .748 OPS and 17 RBI been better than, say, a guy (McCann) hitting .303 with an .832 OPS and 29 RBI? Please explain.

Random

June 1st, 2011
2:33 pm

Yes, MattnAustin, please explain.

And please include in your explanation your facile dismissal of Martin Prado’s .744 OPS (vice Freeman’s .748), especially in the context of Prado’s 50 or so more plate appearances, with 15 fewer strike-outs and 15 more RBIs.

And where does Chipper’s .772 OPS figure when compared to Freeman’s .748? Or David Ross’ .921?

“Freddy Freeman has been our best offensive player this year”?

Only if you shut one eye and cover the other.

Rudy

June 1st, 2011
3:58 pm

Trade Beachy, Mclouth and a minor league pitcher for a freaking BAT!!!! that can constanly hit with RISP….cause thats whats really killing us.

PS…somebody that could steal a couple of bases wont be that bad either….

Rudy

June 1st, 2011
4:04 pm

Hell even better…..trade Hanson (since we all know with his new agent the braves wont be able to re-sign him) i am sure we can get a great player if we include hanson in a package deal….we have plenty of arms in the minors that would pick up the slack.

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