Medlen goes from jack-of-all-trades to Braves ace

When Kris Medlen reported to spring training last year, the

Atlanta Braves looked at him as a handy guy to have around, someone

who could fill in wherever they needed.

No one expected him to become an ace.

Medlen still seems a bit uncomfortable with the title, figuring

a more experienced teammate such as Tim Hudson is better suited for

the role. But the Braves appear to be setting things up for the

27-year-old Medlen to be their opening-day starter – an honor he

certainly earned with the way he pitched in 2011.

After starting the season in the bullpen, the fidgety

right-hander moved into the rotation and was nearly unbeatable. He

went 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA, a major reason the Braves earned a

wild-card spot in the playoffs.