Vivlamore reporting from Florida. I wanted to post a blog before I made my way to the Braves complex this morning for an interview and then my way on Route 4 to Lakeland for this afternoon’s spring training game against the Tigers.
Updates below with starting lineup.
A healthy Kris Medlen returns to lend the Braves pitching staff his versatility this season. While Medlen made a spring training start on Tuesday, it appears he will soon be back in the bullpen. Tommy Hanson will likely take Medlen’s turn in the rotation on Sunday should he be fully healed from a concussion. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez disclosed the plan following Tuesday’s game and said Medlen would “piggy back” on Hanson’s outing from the bullpen.
I had some leftover details and quotes from Tuesday that I wanted to pass on.
“He is an upper-tier swing guy,” Gonzalez said. “He could be a middle of the rotation type starter. He could help you out in the bullpen in those middle innings. He could do a lot of different stuff. Usually those swing guys are 34 years old and done a little bit. Not him.”
While Medlen would prefer to start, he will go where needed most.
“I’ve accepted the fact that I could be both,” Medlen said. “I have to train for both of them just in case.”
Medlen worked two innings Tuesday and gave up three hits and an earned run, an opposite-field homer by Jayson Werth – “wind-aided” according to the right-hander. He threw 34 pitches, 21 for strikes, and also struck out Chad Tracy.
Medlen said he was “anxious” to return to the mound even after he made two appearances at the end of last season in his return from Tommy John surgery. Medlen, who had last pitched Aug. 4, 2010, pitched 2.1 innings and gave up one hit and struck out two. He threw seven pitches against the Nationals on Sept. 25 and 16 pitches against the Phillies on Sept. 28.
“It’s nice to see him come out healthy,” said Gonzalez, who praised Medlen’s Tuesday outing. “He’s going to be a big part for us.”
I have arrived at Joker Marchant Stadium. Here is today’s starting lineup vs. Tigers:
1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Martin Prado, 3B
3. Brian McCann C
4. Dan Uggla, 2B
5. Freddie Freeman, 1B
6. Eric Hinske, DH
7. Matt Diaz, LF
8. Jason Heyward, RF
9. Tyler Pastornicky, SS
Here is the list of players who will make the trip to Sarasota for tomorrow’s game against the Orioles: Luis Avilan, Jaye Chapman, Yohan Flande, Sean Gilmartin, J.J. Hoover, Mike Minor, Christian Bethancourt, Evan Gattis, Matt Kennelly, David Ross, Jose Yepez, Freedie Freeman, Brandon Hicks, Eric Hinske, Ernesto Mejia, Tyler Pastornicky, Andrelton Simmons, Joe Terdoslavich, Josh Wilson, Michael Bourn, Jose Constanza, Todd Cunningham, Luis Durango, Stefan Gartrell, Martin Prado