Medlen is throwing off mound again

After about two weeks off following a setback with scar tissue breakup, Kris Medlen is back throwing off a bullpen mound. He threw 60 pitches without problem on Wednesday as he starts his climb again to return from elbow reconstruction surgery.

Medlen is not throwing curveballs with any regularity. He’s going to ease back into throwing his third pitch, which is what he was throwing when he felt a scar tissue pop on May 31. But he said his biggest obstacle is now mental, not physical, and trusting his arm again.

“It’s the last hurdle for everybody who goes through this,” Medlen said. “You know your arm is strong. You know it’s sturdy and ready to go, it’s just the mental part. It’s that whole release of being able to let it go. I can feel myself, once I’m trying to throw it as hard as I can, my body is like ‘oh,’ and I guide it through. It doesn’t feel as fluid as I want it to yet, but that’s the last hurdle.”

As the Braves headed for the West Coast, Medlen was headed back to the Braves complex in Orlando. He has a one-way airline ticket and plans to stay there until he’s on the cusp of being ready to return, starting with bullpen sessions to live batting practice and possibly even his minor league rehabilitation. He could pitch in Gulf Coast League games.

The setback cost him a possible return in late July. Mid-August would still put him at the typical 12 months recovery, but Medlen is not putting a date on it.

“I am over trying to give myself a timetable,” said Medlen, pointing to his elbow. “It’s obviously going to depend on this guy.”

32 comments Add your comment

The Lemmer

June 22nd, 2011
5:13 pm

Cmon back Meds, you were dealing when you went down, hope you contribute for the playoff run so we can deal D Lowe for a bat!


June 22nd, 2011
5:14 pm

Would be great to have Medlen back in the pitching staff. Speedy recovery, Kris.

Astro Joe

June 22nd, 2011
5:25 pm

Yes, I’m being greedy, but I would love to see Medlan and Moylan working in the bullpen during the final 25 games of the season. They could get us outs and allow the too-often-used-back-end guys to catch their breath. Next season’s competition for the starting rotation should be televised on TNT… they know drama.

DE Braves Fan

June 22nd, 2011
5:32 pm

I doubt Atlanta trades Lowe and if they do its not going to bring anyone spectacular. I think they will take Meds slow and allow him to be the LR guy in the BP just so he does not get TOO much work. Having him and Moylan back will be a god send for O, Venters, and Kimbrel.


June 22nd, 2011
5:43 pm

Astro Joe — You nailed it… Both should be big-time assets for the playoff run and maybe the division title. With the hitters starting to show a little life, you know the starters are going to keep us in nearly all the games through the end of the season and beyond.

As for the competition next spring for pitching slots, it should be one for the ages, even with the possibility of a starter being traded for an outfielder. With Hanson, Hudson, JJ, and Lowe being locks (if Lowe isn’t traded), that leaves one spot for Beachy, Minor, Medlin, Teheran, Delgado, and Viscaino and perhaps a couple others, competing for the last spot.

Next year Atlanta may have the best rotation in MLB… and Gwinnett may have the second best!

Back to earth, though, with the offense.

Jack McKeon

June 22nd, 2011
5:53 pm

Hey Fredi: Can we swap jobs?


June 22nd, 2011
5:55 pm

The Braves are pretty experienced as to TJ players’s recoveries. It’s nice to have THudson and JVenters there for consultation to Medlen any time he needs.

Frank Wren

June 22nd, 2011
5:57 pm

Don’t blame me that Uggla’s hitting 170–it’s all Fredi’s fault. And furthermore, McLouth and K.K. were Bobby’s fault.


June 22nd, 2011
6:02 pm

Whatever happened to KK? Are they still trying to trade him?


June 22nd, 2011
6:04 pm

Maybe it’s time to hire an actual hitting coach. Uggla hit well until he got here. Chipper, FF, and Mccann have all gotten hitting advice from family.

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

June 22nd, 2011
6:11 pm

Sad news for you BBQ and Bravo fans. Billy Jack’s is closing. Friday, June 24th will be our last full day. Many of you have stopped by and talked baseball. I have also made several new friends. The experience was gratifying for the most part, high overhead and slow sales force us to close. Come on by in the next 2 days.

[...] Medlin started throwing again for the Braves. The earliest he could return is mid-August, but it seems that Medlin will be very [...]


June 22nd, 2011
6:40 pm

Medlen is the next Maddux. You heard it here first!


June 22nd, 2011
6:44 pm

we need med get back soon

Bob the Blogger

June 22nd, 2011
10:21 pm

With all of the starting pitching depth in Atlanta and Gwinette, I would not be surprised to see a major trade of a starting pitcher for a key position player. The question is which position would the Braves try to upgrade. C, 1B, 2B (due to the contract, not performance), RF, LF and 3B seem to be set, at least until Chipper retires. That leaves SS and CF. Alex is fine defensively, but his lifetime offensive numbers are only average. Shafer is showing promise, but that is a position that could use a proven performer. So pick your poison – which starter would we trade, and which position should we try to upgrade?


June 22nd, 2011
11:41 pm

I agree Bob the Blogger. I think our farm system is stacked. Stacked to the point where we have bargaining chips, as well as a few expiring contracts on our roster. I know it would take some sacrifice, but I think we can pull off a trade for Matt Kemp. The dodgers organization is in a financial mess, they don’t seem to be buyers by the deadline, and I think with some of the expiring contracts on our squad we could sign a long-term deal for him.


June 22nd, 2011
11:43 pm

let get gerald perry back as a hiting coach he may not be great at it but if we get in a breawl he can beat the crap out of a cppl guys rember the flannery thing when pascal perez beaned some padres guy omg that was funny


June 22nd, 2011
11:46 pm

I hear Cincy is looking for starting pitching – maybe they’d take Lowe for Stubbs?

Discounted Atlanta Braves Tickets

June 23rd, 2011
12:36 am

But i think so atlanta braves are highly professional. Delgado,Medlin, Teheran,Minor and perhaps a couple others, competing for the last spot.

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


June 23rd, 2011
7:53 am

Billy Jack, I hate to hear that. I never got a chance to head over your way. Best of luck to you as you transition out of this.


June 23rd, 2011
8:13 am

Can you imagine how great this team will be once Medlen, Hanson & Prado are back??? Of course, Prado can’t be rushed back with a staph infection so I’m hoping he will be back soon after the All-Star Break. But if all offensive guns are back and the pitching — already good — is all back on board, this team will be postseason-ready.

Let's Go

June 23rd, 2011
8:32 am

I think Kris will pitch this year but barring an injury to a current starter probably not until September when the rosters can expand. Kinda like they did when Tim Hudson came back 2 years ago. Kris Medlen is a really likeable guy and as a 5th starter last year he gave the Braves some good quality starts but overall he has not been that great out of the bullpen. Out of the bullpen he did mostly long relief and was good about half the time. Last year he came around as a starter but if you remember he always started to get into trouble around the 80/85 pitch mark which was usually the 5th or 6th inning and the Braves would always have to use the bullpen early. With Peter Moylan on sked to come back in August I’m not sure where Kris fits into at this point unless there is an injury.

I do think the Braves pitch him this year just to showcase him to show he is healthy and then include him in a trade during the off season. I think long term (After 2012) the Braves are looking at Hanson, Beachy, Minor, Teheran, & Delgado as their starters although Beachy could also be someone they would be willing to trade since Tim Hudson is signed through 2013.

Yehuda Hamer

June 23rd, 2011
9:29 am

Hanson, Jair, Medlen, Minor, Beachy the future starting 5?

Fish Bisch

June 23rd, 2011
10:22 am

Keep on trucking Medlen. We luv you :)

Let's Go

June 23rd, 2011
10:28 am

Unless the Braves get a new owner in the next 6 months, Mr Jurrjens is gone. The guy is line to cash a big check at the bank and don’t expect that check to be from the Atlanta Braves. They could, and may, give him a one year arbitration deal for 2012 which will cost them a bundle but there’s no way they are able to sign him up long term. The Braves have bigger fish to try and sign long term like McCann after 2013 or get Jason & Hanson signed before they are ready for arbitration like they did previously with Brian McCann and tried to do with Jeff Francoeur. Another reason the Braves probably wont have Jair after this year is because Martin Prado is also eligible for arbitration and he can expect a major pay raise (deserved).


June 23rd, 2011
10:46 am

I saw him throwing in warm-ups the other day when I was at the game. This is good news.

I feel like with all the talent the Braves have a pitching, they should be able to borker a big bat for the end of the season. Decide on who you are willing to give up, take the top prospects off the table and just tell everyone. There are a lot of clubs that are looking to cut payroll.

Smiling Jack

June 23rd, 2011
1:33 pm

The Braves don’t need to trade anyone! They simply need to get the players they have to begin hitting….A trade for a righthanded hitter doesn’t automatically translate into successful hitter. Trigger happy traders are always unhappy with what they have and looking at greener pastures on the other side of the fence. Go Braves. We’re not happy when you lose, but you can’t win them all. Keep playing hard and smart and time will tell. Go Braves…just saying


June 23rd, 2011
3:17 pm

Let’s Go, I don’t think Prado’s raise is going to be too significant. He took a major pay cut by moving to LF, now he’ll be judged against all LF’s in arbitration not at 2nd we’re he was an All Star.


June 23rd, 2011
4:02 pm

If JJ is gone, so is Hanson. They have the same agent.

Best to pay both of them if they are healthy and continue to be very good. There are enough contracts ending in the next two offseasons that will allow them to keep both and improve this team. Nate and KK will be gone, and unless they plan on offering new high-dollar contracts to Hudson, Lowe, and Chipper, then Hanson and JJ can easily fit into the current payroll range with enough left to meet the needs of the team.

The Braves always keep the ones worth paying for, that was true under Ted, and Time Warner, and it’ll be true under Liberty.It is the front office that makes these decisions. Neither starter has won a CY Young so they aren’t going to $18-20 million/year, but if they are healthy and very good, then put them down eventually for somewhere under $17 million each, maybe on as=n escalating scale. But neither is anywhere close to having put in the time to be paid like that.

We haven’t seen enough of any of the guys in the minors to know they can pitch in the majors, much less hold down a rotation spot on a contending team. People need to stop crowning these guys in the minors only to abandon them when they don’t meet lofty expectations.

Remember how people once wanted Medlen gone after crowning him only to find out he needed more development.


June 23rd, 2011
7:22 pm

Medlin…keep throwing and working hard. Would love to have you in our already solid rotation! Get well soon…

Fred Casteel

June 24th, 2011
1:20 am

Do not trade the future for any two month temporary fixes like in the past! Unloading Lowe, KK and McClouth’s salaries coukld free up some needed money for an impact free agent.

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