It has been a few days since it was widely released (both by the team and the player) that Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen was expected to undergo Tommy John Surgery for the second time in his career, and now, that outcome is official with multiple outlets reporting the diagnosis.
Obviously, the news that he will be gone for the year comes as no surprise given the circumstance, but it’s still no fun for Medlen and the organization. Coming back from a second Tommy John surgery is never fun, and when it is before the player’s 30th birthday (and before a massive payday), it is even more brutal. There is a growing movement that the right-hander could resurrect his career in a bullpen role (where he was highly effective in 2012 on the way to a 1.57 overall ERA including 12 starts), but frankly, it is far too soon to tell what Medlen’s future path will entail.
The Braves made a swift move to sign Ervin Santana to fill Medlen’s role on the staff, and that reaction should alleviate any major concerns about this season’s rotation. Still, Kris Medlen was seen as the number one starter by some circles of Braves nation, and this is a blow that will be far-reaching to the organization, especially when it comes to the future with regard to non-tender possibilities, etc.
Stay tuned for more updates on the rotation, especially given the remaining uncertainty surrounding Brandon Beachy, who is headed for a second opinion on Tuesday.