Braves to shut down Medlen for six weeks

What the Braves thought was a minor setback for Kris Medlen in his recovery from elbow reconstruction surgery will now force them to shut him down for six weeks.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said Wednesday that Medlen is suffering from lingering soreness in his elbow and will now halt is throwing program until September at the earliest.

The Braves had hoped to get Medlen back some time in August, and provide a lift to their bullpen for the stretch run, but now he’ll be doing well to return before the season is out.

Even if his elbow is feeling good enough to start building back up in September, minor league seasons are over by then and it would be hard to find suitable competition for a minor league rehabilitation stint.

“We’re going to have to play that one by ear, as we try to get it calmed down,” Wren said. “…We’ve got our fingers crossed that he can come back this year, but it’s more difficult because of the timeframe and the limited number of avenues to get him ready, the pitching competition.”

Medlen suffered his first setback in early June with some breaking up of scar tissue, which is considered a common occurrence in recovery from this surgery. But after shutting down for a couple of weeks, problems surfaced again when he resumed his throwing program.

Medlen visited Dr. James Andrews on Monday in his satellite office in Pensacola, Fla. Andrews told him the ligament was structurally sound but he needed rest.

Andrews performed “Tommy John” surgery on Medlen last Aug. 18. Recovery typically takes 12 months, but it can require up to 18 months.

“The elbow is sound,” Wren said. “He just had some lingering soreness he couldn’t get out from the breaking up of the adhesions.”

84 comments Add your comment

Chi Town

July 13th, 2011
1:54 pm

1st

Respect Saban.

Piedmont Blues

July 13th, 2011
1:58 pm

Medlen may have tried to do too much, too soon. Or maybe he’s a “normal” (rather than a fast) healer. I was hoping he’d come back this year, but it’s better to find this out now so there’s time to add an arm if needed — and make sure he’s ready in 2012.

Alex

July 13th, 2011
1:58 pm

That’s unfortunate.. I was thinking he would’ve been a great reliever to our bullpen wearing down in September..

USA!

July 13th, 2011
1:58 pm

Medlen is a beast

Innocent Bystander

July 13th, 2011
2:01 pm

Vizcaino will probably end up in the ‘pen for the stretch run.

Brava

July 13th, 2011
2:01 pm

This isn’t good news, but it’s important for Meds to take his time getting back so he can heal properly. This makes it more likely that Wren looks for another arm for the bullpen before the trade deadline. Proctor has got to go.

mathman

July 13th, 2011
2:03 pm

It probably is best to shut him down until February. I wasn’t expecting him to contribute before Sept anyway, realistically. Hopefully, we will have Moylan back in mid or late August.

JackDennis

July 13th, 2011
2:06 pm

I wouldn’t expect anything out of him this season.

JT Grace

July 13th, 2011
2:17 pm

The Braves really need to start pursuing some of those right handed relievers that available on the trade market.

Southernboy

July 13th, 2011
2:18 pm

You are probably going to have to tie him down to keep him quiet.

Rupert

July 13th, 2011
2:18 pm

Tough news for Meds, but even if he came back he would not have been full strength. Most pitchers say it really takes another half year to year to feel like themselves again.

Chi Town, why respect Saban? A) this is a Braves blog, B) He finished in 4th place last season.

GT Alum

July 13th, 2011
2:25 pm

I was hoping he’d be able to come back and bolster the ‘pen down the stretch, but best to make sure he’s ready. Hopefully, we still have Moylan to replace Proctor. It will be interesting to see if the front office decides to fill that last spot in the ‘pen internally with Martinez, Gearrin or Viz, or if they go out to get someone. It might be good to go out and get another reliever, just in case Moylan hits a setback or someone else gets injured.

Can Meds go to winter league to get some work in?

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

rob

July 13th, 2011
2:30 pm

WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR THE BRAVES TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY NEED A NEW RIGHTY IN THE PEN????? release proctor like yesterday…and linebrink has been better but not sure he is the guy you want pitching in a must hold inning.

Metro Coach

July 13th, 2011
2:44 pm

The Braves need to go after Heath Bell to really bolster the bullpen. After EOF, Venters, and Kimbrel there isn’t one guy in that ‘pen that should be trusted, with the possible exception of Sherrill, and he seems on the verge of blowing up any game now. Procter needs to be banished as far away from the major leagues as he Braves can send him, and Linebrink can’t pitch under pressure, he only looks good with big leads, and even then he’s liable to look bad. Bell, EOF, Venters, and Kimbrel to go with Moylan and Sherrill would be a real shut down ‘pen. Add Minor or recall Martinez to cover long relief and they’re set for the stretch run, maybe a hitter pops up on the block and they can make another reasonable deal, but if Prado comes back to form and Chipper gets healthy for real then the hitting isn’t as big a problem as it seems to be.

Matt

July 13th, 2011
2:49 pm

Metro Coach, that post is so wrong in so many ways, I just don’t know where to begin. To summarize, you think we should trade to bolster our bullpen and leave the offense alone? Lay off the crack, dude.

Trojan

July 13th, 2011
2:57 pm

Sherrill scares me

Bob the Blogger

July 13th, 2011
3:00 pm

I don’t see how Medlen can be productive at the major league level this year. If he can be 100% by spring, that’s all we can hope for. I wonder if the Braves will have him pitch in the Arizona Fall League.

Fish Bisch

July 13th, 2011
3:02 pm

Medlen’s career is probably over.

Supes

July 13th, 2011
3:02 pm

It’s a shame, too bad we needed Medlin’s arm in the pen at the very least down the stretch this season…hopefully he will still make full recovery and be ready for the 2012 season.

Tana

July 13th, 2011
3:13 pm

I don’t really see why a trade for Heath Bell would do any good. Trading for a guy who closes to a team with two potential closers, one who leads the league, is only asking for trouble. I think the bullpen is not the biggest concern of ours. We need to liven up the line-up, even if that just means a healthy Prado and Chipper. Getting Prado back is like trading for an All-Star, and getting Chipper back is the same deal. I would love a pure lead-off guy, but with McLouth, Schafer, and Prado there is already an issue that someone has to go in LF if we replace an outfielder. Only other position that could upgrade is SS, and Gonzalez is better than any SS on the market. We have an All Star ‘pen and line-up. Realistically guys….you may be asking too much. We have a team to win, they just have to perform. Our roster consists of 12 players who have been selected as All Stars in their careers. Get all of them healthy and performing and I think we have a pretty dang good team without any trades.

TheWad

July 13th, 2011
3:14 pm

Bring Minor to the pen, wait on Moylan, use Viscaino if really needed. Get rid of Proctor now. Everything and everyone else is fine and we can win the whole deal if our hitters play to their capability in the second half. Feel good about guys…….oh yeah, I would bring the Gwinnett centerfielder to the Braves to start the second half and see if he can post those offensive numbers for us in the bigs. He has got to be better than Young who isn`t a major league answer to any question in the batters box. Young has no drive to his bat…….

Seattle Braves Fan

July 13th, 2011
3:39 pm

I am up in Seattle so I can’t get a lot of info on our minor league system. I hear about pitching all the time, but what position players look like they may shine?

BravesFan

July 13th, 2011
3:45 pm

Stefan Gartrell is killing the baseball at AAA. He is a right fielder for Gwinnett. He bats righty. Move him to left and tell McClouth to get out of town….

rob

July 13th, 2011
3:45 pm

@metro coach. i agree with you totally. heath bell would be great. he said he was fine with being a set up guy too. having some flexibility would be great in the pen. also, he clearly has a great personality and would be a fun person to cheer for in atlanta, on top of being an awesome righy

rob

July 13th, 2011
3:46 pm

*righty that is

Braves in 11

July 13th, 2011
3:47 pm

If he’s back by September just activate him and have him pitch on the 40 man roster when rosters expand….Then we can pitch him in games that we’re winning big or losing in to get a feel for how he is going to pitch before we decide if he’s going to be in for the playoffs. There’s no harm in that.

Coach

July 13th, 2011
3:48 pm

Get well soon Kris. But even the more reason that we need to trade for another RH bullpen arm, as well as another bat off the bench. And Derek Lowe should be made available for the above or prospects. He’s had one good stretch in 2 1/2 years, if someone will eat his $15M+ I’d pull the trigger and bring up Minor.

sAD sACK

July 13th, 2011
3:58 pm

Oh well, I’ve been shut down since I got married…

invictus mon

July 13th, 2011
4:04 pm

We had 3 pitchers in an all star game and everyone knows we had a 4th get shafted because the manager wanted to bring all of his guys. Pitching isn’t my concern…does Proctor blow? Worse than a hummer ride in a sandstorm. Still…we can’t keep hanging all our hopes on our pitching. The other team gets 3 runs and we’re effectively out of it. BATTING! We need some big O. We relied too much on the long ball and 9th inning walkoff hits last year and it bit us in the arse. Wren…you’ve gotta get us some offense or we’re sitting ducks for the Phily in September.

Spider29

July 13th, 2011
4:08 pm

Tough luck for Kris but I would rather he shut it down this season. With rest and re-hab for the next few months, he should be more than ready for 2012. The Braves need him,yes, but they need a healthy Medlen. Don’t forget that Moylan should be back soon and if his back is well, he will be a much welcomed addtion to the bullpen. With Moylan, O’Flaherty, Venters and Kimbrel, we have a fine group in the bullpen. Go Braves!

Spud Webb

July 13th, 2011
4:24 pm

Shut him down, you’ll have a spot next year when D.Lowe is gone (he will be gone)…

Mitch McConnell's Chins

July 13th, 2011
4:42 pm

We feel really bad about this. He’s a great kid and the team needs him. But all we can do is what’s best for his long-term health, for his sake and the team’s.

phil

July 13th, 2011
4:53 pm

Medlen is an overrated bum and we need to release him and keep Proctor….

Fire FG…

John, Ducktown

July 13th, 2011
4:57 pm

We should go after Heath Bell. He knows how to slide. This is something he could teach the Braves so that they would know what to do if they ever got on base and had to run to the next one or possibly try to steal a base. Hell, let him bat. He can’t hit much worse.
Our pitching will be fine. It’s getting over the mental blocks of beating the Nationals and other teams we can’t seem to beat (whom we should) and playing w/o Chipper that concerns me.
I just hope that once the offense picks up, our pitching doesn’t become the problem.
We are a damn good team with any sort of offense.

Cecil Upshaw could pitch

July 13th, 2011
5:20 pm

Medlen was better at Gwinnett than was Hanson. Keep Kris rehabbing slowly. Now that Bobby’s gone, maybe Meds won’t have to start Thursday, middle relief Friday and close Sunday which, I think, cause him to initially have arm probs.
We’ve gotta get someone to pitch besides everyday Jonny or he’s gonna end up sore armed, too.

Paddy

July 13th, 2011
5:22 pm

phil….you are a ray of sunshine! You may need to go to womens soccer or curling. They need fans like you!!

Mike from the coast

July 13th, 2011
5:23 pm

@Tana, agree with you. Return of a healthy Chipper and Prado is liked getting two all stars in a trade. Believe Chipper will hit better with a healthy knee. If Uggla can hit at least .250 that will be another boost for the offense. Saw some promising things with Schaeffer right before the Phillies series, if he’ll hit up the middle and to the left side we’ll do fine. Schaeffer’s defense is as good as it gets in the Majors. Know he can’t be sent down, but I do agree Proctor must go, give him his outright release, we’d be much better with Christian Martinez and Gearin (despite his rough inning against

Mike from the coast

July 13th, 2011
5:24 pm

with the Phillies. I got cut off with my post. What the heck is going on. Had to type it twice.

phil

July 13th, 2011
5:28 pm

IF Uggly could hit .250…

he can’t.

UGA Alum

July 13th, 2011
5:34 pm

phil…must be short for Phillies Moron…

Mike from the coast

July 13th, 2011
5:36 pm

Wow Phil, saw your last two posts. Having a bad day?

Mike from the coast

July 13th, 2011
5:36 pm

Wow Phil, saw your last two posts. Having a bad day?

reckingball

July 13th, 2011
5:46 pm

some people just enjoy complaining

brvs1fan

July 13th, 2011
5:49 pm

Enter your comments here

brvs1fan

July 13th, 2011
5:50 pm

If ignorance is bliss Phil must be one happy mofo

Ronald Millsaps

July 13th, 2011
5:56 pm

People seriously need to quit worrying about Dan Uggla’s batting average, which honestly is a moot point.

Jair’s not starting last night bothers me. Where’s the objectivity from manager Bruce Bochy– who should’ve used his reliever before he used Kimbrel or Venters? I’m assuming Halladay started (didn’t watch the entire game), who isn’t a Giant, but Jair had more wins on three fewer starts. He should’ve been the NL starter.

Mlb.com lists its midseason awards and doesn’t have Lance Berkman in the top three for MVP in the NL. It also doesn’t have Freddie Freeman in the top three for Rookie of the Year. I guess it sides with those who think Dale Murphy shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame, too. (I can’t believe that, with all the steroid controversy of the better part of the last 20 years, a guy like Murphy hasn’t gotten that much more of a HOF push from his NOT participating in that type of thing. Furthermore, his home-run total was lower than that of the typical ’90s player not because of having less talent but because of the aforementioned factor and all the home-run conducive actions baseball implemented–which actually hurt the game’s credibility more than players abusing steroids.)

FOX needs to provide more professionalism— a LOT more, and I encourage folks to contact the FCC regarding a particular movie that was advertised late in the game. In the span of half a second it was extremely offensive for a host of reasons, and I changed channels as quickly as possible. Seriously, where are regulations nowadays? Oh, yeah; they tend to be modified when combined with collective apathy.

K. Johnson

July 13th, 2011
6:10 pm

Ronald,
Take off the braves goggles. Halliday should have started.

63 year Braves fan

July 13th, 2011
6:31 pm

Am I the only one who thinks Hunter Pence is the perfect answer for the Braves? A 4 1/2 tool player.
Good defense, great arm, some speed, a 300+ hitter and some power. bats right handed. If we have
to give up Shafer, Minor, and Delgado to get him, lets do it F. Wren. Pence is also fairly young.

Chipper's ACL

July 13th, 2011
6:35 pm

Oakland has three pretty good right handed relief pitchers that should be available. Don’t need a Bell, just good pitching and half the price.

Heb11:1

July 13th, 2011
6:44 pm

I hope the Braves will just shutter this young man for the year. There is absolutely no reason to risk his career by coming back this year. Kris, be it unto you according to your faith.

BravesFaninChi

July 13th, 2011
6:46 pm

Agree with 63 year old Braves fan. Plus he’s under contract through 2013

Jimbo

July 13th, 2011
6:46 pm

reckingball always says the same thing.
“I believe” or “some people just enjoy complaining” love a homer.

That was not the real phil above. The man is to smart for short talk. He will rack your a@*!

garynpOH

July 13th, 2011
6:53 pm

minor and delgado is too much, pitching is so scarce that giving to with such high potential along with schafer. minor or delgado straight up maybe

Jimbo

July 13th, 2011
6:58 pm

Can’t get them all but I’d like one of these
Pence super player thats friends with McCann, can play all 3 OF.
Bourn great lead-off hitter that can get on base, hit, speed.
JJ Hardy hits for average ,power and good D. Better than Gonz.
Would love Kemp but Dodgers will not trade and Braves are to cheap.
A good relief pitcher, maybe from Oakland are Padres.

Forgot its not Christmas!

bravos007

July 13th, 2011
7:49 pm

kimbrel and venters can’t pitch every game. our starters RARELY go 8 or 9 innings. we need to reliable arms to back those guys up. the last thing we want to do is blow their arms out. if that happens, we are DONE

jester

July 13th, 2011
8:10 pm

well i think they should trade Lowe to the Yanks for prospects.

Big Frank Wren

July 13th, 2011
10:18 pm

Jester…

…go ahead…call Brian Cashman and if you can make the deal you’ve got my blessing…. we’d love to see D-Lowe in Pin Stripes…

Dent

July 13th, 2011
10:37 pm

Get Jason Frasor from the Blue Jays. He fits the bill and wont cost as much as other relievers.

Joel

July 13th, 2011
11:25 pm

Keep your head up kid, we need you next year!

Joseph

July 13th, 2011
11:29 pm

@who ever said his career is over………………..You do not know anything obviously. His career is just beginning. Look at Hudson for a local example. He came back at the end of the season and was OK he was effective…2-1 record. But he didn’t have the command and effectiveness he normally had until the next season when he was a solid candidate for the CY last year. He will be fine. I just wonder if they will give Medlen a chance to get his starting job back this spring? He was solid starter, so does he get a chance to earn it back?

bruce

July 13th, 2011
11:41 pm

rooting for you Kris! do it well and reap the joys of your hard work, competitiveness and ambition to do well. sorry to hear this news.

Bill

July 14th, 2011
12:12 am

From espn insider rumors and Tweets:
Braves might make overtures to Cubs for A Ramirez…
Rumor that Phillies are talking to Padres for Bell…
Rumor Braves might be interested in Royals Alex Gordon age 27 299ba 11hrs, 50 rbi 367 0bp.Plays LF
Braves might have interest in 2 Blue Jay relief pitchers..one is Jon Rauch…
Still talk about White Cox and Braves? I hope not.

Understand this is all Insider rumors which means nothing as of now.

Brother John

July 14th, 2011
12:14 am

Good luck to Meds, but hope he doesn’t rush it. Next year will be fine. Jordan S. playing great centerfield. Defensively,gets to both gaps, absolute accurate rifle of an arm, speed and savvy on the bases. Good eye at the plate. Can hit the other way at any time. And a fantastic drag bunter to either side! Braves haven’t seen anything like this in years!! Go Jordan and GO BRAVES. As for the World Series, I think we need just that last missing piece of the puzzle. A right handed bat who hits for average, plays solid defense, and probably an outfielder. We’ve got enough sluggers on this team! I think Wren has to add somebody — who a change of scenery would do good — and hey — a chance to win a World Series — ain’t half bad either! I would think great players on awful teams would be lining up at the gate for this opportunity. Make it happen, Mr. Wren.

Joseph

July 14th, 2011
12:20 am

@Bill I think this year it will be more action overall throughout all of baseball this trade season next 17 days. Or it could be one where nothing happens but about 2 or 3 trades. K-Rod already traded, so Mets seem to be getting ready to start things off. It will be a fun gut-wrenching 17 days for real fans of this team.

lifelongbravesfan

July 14th, 2011
2:11 am

Medlen needs to rest up and come back in spring training 2012. The Braves are loaded with pitching. We need speed and base hitters. I love A Gon but his batting is hurting the team. I got ripped for mentioning Jose Reyes so I wont go there again. We will just keep watching the best leadoff batter in baseball circle the bases when we play the Mets. Sorry but I think he would the best thing for the Braves and talent isnt cheap and the Braves wont pay for him. Everyone needs hitting in the years of the pitcher lately. Chipper wont be around much longer, and I wish he could get back in the WS. Keep up the manager of the year Fredi and do the best with who the front office gets. (crossing fingers)

Black Mountain Bulldog

July 14th, 2011
6:54 am

I would bring up Mike Minor, for bullpen help and Gartrell’s bat, from Gwinnett.
At least give Gartrell a chance before you trade away one of the young pitching prospects.
Then have a Texeria type situation possibly happen again.

Bob the Blogger

July 14th, 2011
7:42 am

I don’t see how the Braves can do a major deal this year. They could use an upgrade at SS or CF, but that would be costly. The contracts for McLouth and KK are coming off the books at the end of this year, and Lowe’s contract ends after next year, so some major deals can be done then.

Larry

July 14th, 2011
8:07 am

Could we “shut down” Fruity for a few weeks starting, oh, about October 1st?

Be nice to have a chance for once to be the last team celebrating on the pitcher’s mound. :-)

Chris from the Rock

July 14th, 2011
8:08 am

Best trade would be Media Liberty for a real owner like Mark Cuban.

Trojan

July 14th, 2011
8:24 am

Try to get a bat but if not get the guy at AAA a chance to platoon in left, put Minor and Tehran in the bullpen (maybe even Vasquez). These in house moves will atleast improve us in our weakest areas.

Joey

July 14th, 2011
9:07 am

Please don’t let Proctor lose any more games . . .

Kharma

July 14th, 2011
9:14 am

Easy to fix this. Alas the Braves won’t

Rest is never the answer.

Kharma2301@yahoo.com

bill

July 14th, 2011
9:39 am

If you think rest is never the answer you have never dated a much younger woman.Proctor is not pitching worth crap but lets find a cure for our most troublesome spot, the outfield offensive production. Rf LF Cf allof them are pretty mediocre but we have help coming from the DL any day. Uggla will hit 280 the rest of the season and we will all be happy as clams with that. We need right handed outfielder worse than anything else.

bill

July 14th, 2011
9:41 am

damn he’s a flake but so was Ted Turner so bring on Mark Cuban as an owner. If that happened we would be talking world series every year.

Bravo Cubano

July 14th, 2011
12:14 pm

I would also like to see Cuban as Brave’s owner…..This will bring the Braves back to the Turner years when spending money to make money(more sellouts,higher attendance)wasn’t an issue….then the Phillies would really have something to worry about…with this good group of young men it wouldn’t take much more…..new left fielder,new shortstop….new right handed relief pitcher…great group headed by Hanson,Freeman,Prado,Heyward,McCann and yes also Uggla…O’flaharety,Venters,Kimbrel,Jurrjens,Beachy,Minor Teheran,Delgado,Vizcainno and also Medelen when he come’s back(not if but when)…..throw in a few Vets and this is a great team!

Braves95

July 14th, 2011
1:18 pm

Just curious, why is everyone so quick to trade Gonzo? Defensively he is the best in baseball, and that’s proven. Hes clutch with the bat and he is a vet. I don’t see any trades that make sense at this point. I agree ditch Proctor and bring up Minor and Teheran for the bullpen. MAYBE trade Shafer and Sherril for a LF or another solid utility guy. We have depth in starting pitching, who says they all have to start? Lets free up that logjam in the minors stock our bullpen with long relievers.

Braves95

July 14th, 2011
1:19 pm

Shafer and Sherril for a CF*

Mark's for the Braves

July 14th, 2011
1:23 pm

How close is Moylan to being ready to come back Dave? If he is ready by mid to late August we may be ok. Otherwise, we need another right hander in the pen to replace Proctor in the 7th inning. Proctor is finished.

braves fan in western nebraska

July 14th, 2011
2:30 pm

What abt bringing Francouer back or adding Alex Gordon…both guys have had solid to good seasons…and why couldn’t heyward play center? I guess if they were willing to try it, they would have already…

alexcox

July 14th, 2011
6:15 pm

ya estan tarde d traer a moilan y medlen einclusive chiper jones. limpiar la casa con los q no den el grado (protocor kawakami libranic parish gearin wren y sherif) hay subir d las menores para la ayuda del bulpen (teheran minor delgado y un trade cnfiable) buscar lf diestro (luwick,quitin pence,batista beltran lee ) y sobre tdo un couch d bateo bueno q d resultados eso completaria alos braves y volvamos ala ruta ganadora. estoy esperando eso desde 1995.

alexcox

July 14th, 2011
6:27 pm

m gustaria saber el progreso d unos chicos q filmaron ligamenor por eje. dos ex mets un lansador d los filis un lansador marlins un jugador d texas d lo q mrecuerdo

dgd

July 14th, 2011
11:29 pm

I think they should trade Heyward for Gordon and Aaron Crow. Have a feeling, hope I’m wrong, that Heyward is Francouer II. Trade now while his value is still high…

[...] his Tommy John surgery in August of 2010, Medlen had setbacks in both early June and then again in July. The long road back from elbow reconstructive surgery came to an end when he threw a scoreless [...]

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