Well, we’ve been saying it throughout Spring Training: the worst thing that can happen in these games is for a player to go down with an injury. In the fourth inning of today’s game against the Mets, Medlen left the game with an apparent right forearm strain.
With two outs in the inning and Matt Clark up at the plate, Medlen through two pitches and then immediately walked off of the mound and headed for the dugout, while holding his elbow. According to Mark Bowman, of MLB.com, the reaction was extremely similar to 2010 when Medlen left a game and eventually had to undergo Tommy John surgery:
Unfortunately, Medlen’s reaction was similar to the one he had when he exited a start against the Mets on Aug. 4, 2010. He underwent Tommy John surgery two weeks later and then endured a long rehab process that sidelined him until the final week of the 2011 regular season.
Not only was Medlen expected to be a key pitcher in this year’s edition of the starting rotation, but most people believed he was in line to be the Atlanta Braves Opening Day starter. However now, everyone involved with the organization–including all of the fans–are collectively holding their breaths.
This could turn out to be nothing, or it could turn out to be another season-ending injury. Only time–and an evaluation Monday–will tell. We’ll be sure to update you with any information as it leaks out, but be sure to check back again tomorrow for more on this situation as it develops.