Medlen ready to make most of relief role

Kris Medlen spent a little more than two weeks in Gwinnett stretching out to be a starter and he’s back now as a reliever. But he said the two weeks were not wasted.

“I really can’t complain about down there,” Medlen said Friday after rejoining the Braves. “It was humbling and whatever else you want to call it, but it was awesome. I kind of got to unwind a little bit, re-prioritize things and work on some stuff and just tried to make the most out of it.”

Medlen said he felt the pressure of having to perform early on in his stint to get back to Atlanta as a starter and struggled with his command rushing pitches. So he worked with pitching coach Marty Reed on staying over the rubber longer.

He saw better results and came back ready to take on whatever role the Braves needed.

“It’s a little disheartening I guess because I went down there to be a starter,” Medlen said. “But things happen and they make plans and they don’t always work out. My entire career has been based on doing what I can for the team to help us win. Winning makes everything a lot better. I’ll do anything. I’m back in the bullpen and I’m going to make the most out of that.”

With Jonny Venters’ recent struggles and Eric O’Flaherty being down this week with a sore elbow, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez could use some help in the seventh and eighth innings. So Medlen won’t just be used in  long relief or multiple-inning outings.

“We may use him a little different,” Gonzalez said. “We had a great luxury last year that doesn’t happen very often. We had O’Flaherty (in the) seventh, Venters (in) the eighth and bam. We’re not there right now. I think we will be, but until we get to that point then we can use Med. Maybe Jonny come in and get an out in the sixth, or two outs in the sixth, and have Med go seven, eight until O’Flaherty gets back, then close with (Craig) Kimbrel.”

Gonzalez said he can also use Chad Durbin in that mix.

15 comments Add your comment

MyThoughts

June 15th, 2012
7:23 pm

Welcome back

Earl

June 15th, 2012
7:25 pm

I sure hope Venters can get on track. He and Medlen are vital parts of the staff. Goooooooo Braves #1.

BravesFan79

June 15th, 2012
7:28 pm

Medlens attitude makes him one of my favorite Braves. I still believe in this team, and look for them to be in contention for a playoff spot until the end.

Merlin

June 15th, 2012
7:30 pm

The Braves crapped on Medlen. That NEVER happened before Wren tin tin was in charge. We foudn out today the Reason Livan was here in the first place, him and Fredi are Buds. Fredi was his translator back in their good old Fish days. Fredi and The bird don’t trust Meds in spite of the fact that all he’s ever done is pitch as well as anyone on the staff. He’ll get traded for some worn out arm or bat that Wren “has always wanted.” The bat or arm will flop and Meds will come back and beat us like rented mules when he pitches. I’ll applaud ever time he does as well. What a bunch of morons we have in charge.

Mark (another one)

June 15th, 2012
7:54 pm

Medlen’s flexibility as a pitcher is also his curse. He can handle starting and relief. He has a great attitude and says the right thing. I know the Braves want to see Minor and Delgado become top level starters, and they show promise, but Medlen has shown he can start and produce.

Reliable starters that eat innings are the keys to a success. They keep the bullpen fresh and keep their own team in the game. Medlen did it two years ago and is due a chance to show he can do it again.

Cagy

June 15th, 2012
8:27 pm

I’m one of the millions of old lady Braves fans. Medlen is a very capable starter who was promised that role. Management (on some level) sent him to the minors to retrain for the position, giving the young man hope that he would be used to his potential. Now, however, they bring him back to be a reliever…again. This decision, if I were Medlen, makes me have no faith in this organization, and would anger me. He is limited by the Braves in role and in potential income. For his sake, trade him to some team who would use him. He’s always been good to us, never complaining, giving his all. Let him find his true value somewhere who will appreciate his talents. I am angry that we treated him this badly.

Max Sizemore

June 15th, 2012
8:34 pm

So Minor has one decent start and now he’s back in the rotation? Totally ridiculous. Have a plan and work it. Not.

Kris

June 15th, 2012
10:51 pm

Never should have sent him down in the first place. He should have started right out of spring training. But to give the kids chance, I understand. But wasted two weeks down there while the Braves struggled against some of the AL east teams made me want to almost throw up. Medlen should have made a difference late innings in at least 4 of the interleague games that I can remember while he was in the minors. I bet those 4 games will the difference between the Braves making the playoffs and not this season. This is such a bad management by the Braves. Thank goodness Medlen handles it so professionally. I almost wish Medlen starts elsewhere so he can win 15 to 20 games as a starter.

Bob the Blogger

June 15th, 2012
11:04 pm

Delgado and Minor started pitching better, Hernandez was pitching poorly, O’Flaherty is hurting, and Venters isn’t exactly lights out, so this was the decision. I was hoping to see Medlin as a starter. He may be fighting for a spot for a while, because when Hudson leaves, Medlen will have Teheran to compete with for a spot in the rotation.

Brave Decisions

June 15th, 2012
11:09 pm

This was the right move. Explained… http://wp.me/2lqJ1

bob didier

June 15th, 2012
11:22 pm

Sure, it was the right move. Medlen, if you check, never gave us more than 5 or 6 innings as a starter. He then had TJ surgery and the Braves don’t want him throwing a lot of innings. We need him in the pen until and if Venters gets straightend out.

This way, Medlen can help us out 2 or 3 times out of 5 rather than once every 5 days. If Durbin wasn’t pitching better, we would really be in trouble. We also need Martinez to step up and hopefully Varvaro as well. It would really be nice to have a lefty instead of Varvaro. Maybe, Flande should be given a chance. He was good in the spring.

[...] is well off his pre-surgery rate of 6.9. He just returned from a stint in Gwinnett where he was stretched out as a starter, but the recent struggles of middle relievers Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty [...]

[...] is well off his pre-surgery rate of 6.9. He just returned from a stint in Gwinnett where he was stretched out as a starter, but the recent struggles of middle relievers Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty have [...]

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