The Atlanta Braves have done their due diligence in their current rebuild. No stone has been left unturned, including an optimistic return of Kris Medlen. He’s led a turbulent career which could smooth out in the next few weeks.
With all the moves made each spring, it’s no surprise a minor-league signing goes unnoticed. Atlanta Braves fans paid heed to Kris Medlen when he inked his. What’s made his return to the organization even more exciting is Medlen having signed two deals with them this spring.
Kris Medlen is returning to the Braves with a Minor League deal that does not include an invitation to Spring Training.
Strange as it sounds, the once-dominant pitcher first agreed to a minor-league contract on January 27, 2017. He did not participate with the big-league club in spring training before being released on March 28. Mark Bowman of MLB.com offered some insight to the situation, acknowledging Medlen was “slightly behind schedule with his preseason preparations.” Adding to the mystery surrounding his comeback, he signed again on April 1.
The confusing series of transactions was strictly procedural, with both player and franchise having no intention of separation.
This comeback has been pulled into the forefront yet again after another intense #AskCoppy session on the official Atlanta Braves Twitter account. If you’re unaware, it’s a stretch of tweets handcrafted by General Manager John Coppolella himself, answering the inquiries of Braves fans. If you’re a Braves fan and are not currently on Twitter, you should change that and go see what you’ve missed.
As one fan asked, how has Medlen been doing since his return to the Bravos? Medlen has been working out in extended spring training since his initial signing. According to General Manager John Coppolella, Medlen is turning the corner in his return.
Kris is doing great — he threw six shutout innings in his last start in Extended ST. Look for him to join an affiliate in short order. https://t.co/xAUqzePYF5
This is great news considering the struggles the team has had with both starting pitching and the bullpen. Medlen is former starter and ‘pen piece. He would be a fine addition if he can bring his success up the ladder with him. The next question was where the California native would begin in the farm system. With each level overflowing with studs of the mound, the organization needed to find a place for him to be challenged without taking innings from the youngsters.
Coming from extended spring, he’ll be treated as a rehabbing player and brought along more slowly. What Coppolella said left some room for speculation on his first stop, but it turns out his first gig will be with the Advanced-A Florida Fire Frogs according to David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. O’Brien announced Medlen’s start will be Saturday, May 19.
This is a great place to have him start after the recent promotion of Luiz Gohara. Enderson Franco, 24, was moved up from Single-A Rome to fill the void and hasn’t fared well to date. Through two starts, he’s been rung up for six runs in 10.2 innings, good for a 5.06 ERA.
Kris Medlen’s journey is one full of injury and perseverance. Braves fans can’t help but root for him and his return to the top level. With constant shoulder problems and two Tommy John surgeries, he continues to press forward. Good thing he pulled back on his initial idea of retirement.