Braves release Livan Hernandez, call up Medlen

The Atlanta Braves recalled right-hander Kris Medlen from

Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday and designated right-hander Livan

Hernandez for assignment.

The 37-year-old Hernandez was 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA and one save –

the first of his 17-year career – with the Braves. He gave up seven

hits and five runs in 1 2-3 innings against Toronto in his last

appearance Sunday.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who like Hernandez is a native of

Cuba, said the move wasn’t easy because of his long relationship

with the right-hander. Gonzalez was a minor league manager with the

Marlins when the team signed Hernandez in 1996.

”I’ve known him since he was 18,” Gonzalez said, adding

Hernandez hopes to land with another team.

”There may be some other teams looking for a veteran guy, and I

hope so,” Gonzalez said. ”He still wants to pitch.”

Gonzalez said he didn’t know if Hernandez would accept an

assignment with Gwinnett if he is not signed by another team.

Hernandez signed with the Braves on March 30, one day after he

was released by Houston. He has a career record of 175-177 with

nine teams. He was 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA with Washington last


He set a career high for wins when he was 17-11 with San

Francisco in 2000. He won two games for Florida in the 1997 World

Series win over Cleveland.

Medlen was sent to Gwinnett on May 29 to work as a starting

pitcher. The expectation was he would return to the Atlanta

rotation, but Gonzalez said Medlen will pitch in relief. The Braves

are keeping Mike Minor and Randall Delgado in the rotation.

Medlen is an option for long relief roles but may work later in

games as a setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel. The Braves also have

Cristhian Martinez as a long reliever, which also had been

Hernandez’s role.

Medlen is 1-1 with one save and a 3.49 ERA in 21 games with


Meanwhile, Martin Prado, normally a left fielder and third

baseman, is making his first start of the season at first base

against Baltimore on Friday night.

Gonzalez said Freddie Freeman ”is not quite ready yet” but is

improving as he continues to recover from a bruised left index

finger and thumb.

Prado played in only two games at first base in 2011 and five

games in 2010 but appeared in a combined 45 games at first in


Matt Diaz, hitting .313 against left-handers this season, is

starting in left field against Baltimore’s Brian Matusz.