Archive for August, 2012

Medlen should give Braves reason to consider 6-man staff

Kris Medlen has been too good in two starts to put back into the bullpen. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Kris Medlen has been too good in two starts to put back into the bullpen. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

There is this problem with Kris Medlen. He is too good at everything he does.

He can pitch middle relief. He can start. He can come in at any time and rescue a teammate in full mound meltdown mode, or step in as the understudy for one who has been put on the shelf. He is equally adept at both.

It’s sort of like Kenshin Kawakami’s alternate universe.

Here’s the problem (sort of): After pitching his second solid start in a row (one run, five hits, 5 1/3 innings) to lead the Braves to a 6-1 win over Houston, Medlen is setting up a difficult decision for the Braves. What are they going to do with him when Tommy Hanson if eligible to come off the disabled list in a little over a week?

“I’ll walk in there and give my two cents if they ask,” catcher David Ross. “He’s a fun pitcher to catch. He’s so important to our team. He’s throws strikes. He’s not afraid to throw anything I [signal]. You …

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LIVE: Can Medlen stake his claim in Braves’ rotation?

Kris Medlen makes his second of at least three starts today for Braves, but will he stay in rotation? (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Kris Medlen makes his second of at least three starts today for Braves, but will he stay in rotation? (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Hello. It’s hot. (Old journalism training: Don’t bury the lead.)

The Braves close out what has been a successful home stand (7-2) against Houston, and what happens in today’s game against Houston could impact their starting rotation as much as it doesn’t the National League East standings.

Kris Medlen will make his second start after winning 7-1 over Miami last week. In his first start in two years — Tommy John surgery followed by relief work — Medlen allowed only one run and four hits and needed only 57 pitches to get through five innings. (A lengthy rain delay ended his night.)

He is scheduled to make at least one more start next Saturday at New York, but then the Braves will have a decision to make. The rotation currently looks like this: Tim Hudson, Ben Sheets, Paul Maholm, Mike Minor and Medlen. Tommy Hanson, who went on the disabled list …

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Crowell had issues but replacing him not easy for Georgia

Isaiah Crowell was a headache, but he was an impact player on field. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Isaiah Crowell was a headache, but he was an impact player on field. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

ATHENS – Notwithstanding all of the words that have been spewed or written about Isaiah Crowell – some factual, some imagined by the ScreaminDawg39s on message boards — since he was summarily dismissed from Georgia, one thing is undeniable:

He was good. Really good.

It’s easy to forget that. Many would rather talk about Crowell’s perceived lack of dedication, or his immaturity, or that he was soft. (It’s rare that even Vince Dooley calls you out.)  Let’s assume all that were true. What does it say that Crowell still ran for 850 yards and five touchdowns in little more than 10 full games and was named the SEC’s freshman of the year?

It follows that when Georgia opened practice Thursday, there should’ve been no reason to celebrate Crowell’s absence. He left a void. If the Bulldogs don’t lack talent at running back, they at least lack certainty at the position and they may lack …

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