Braves’ Kris Medlen preparing for second Tommy John surgery
All signs are pointing to Kris Medlen undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time in five years.
The Braves pitcher spoke to media Wednesday at the team’s spring training facility, saying he is preparing himself to undergo the procedure. There has been nothing official at this point, and Medlen is awaiting to see Dr. James Andrews in the coming days to get a second opinion on an MRI that general manager Frank Wren said indicates "injury to the ligament."
"Mentally preparing myself," Medlen told reporters. "It’s something that I’ve felt before. I think I had all the answers to anybody’s questions in my head when I was walking off the mound. I never do that. When I did it before in 2010, the same thing kind of happened. Nothing’s … Nothing’s official, but I think I know and just go from there."
With questions also surrounding Brandon Beachy, who left Monday’s game with discomfort in his right bicep muscle, Atlanta wasted little time in bolstering its rotation by signing free agent Ervin Santana to a one-year, $14.1 million deal.
Medlen, 28, has been among the game’s most dominant starters the past two seasons, with a 2.40 ERA since the 2012 All-Star break, which ranks behind only the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw among those with at least 250 innings.
Medlen left Sunday’s game with the Mets with what was originally called a right forearm strain. He was seen grabbing at his elbow before throwing a pitch, then walked off the field and to the dugout.
Medlen had Tommy John surgery in August 2010 and bounced back, joining the rotation in 2012 and going 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA, 84 strikeouts and 10 walks over 82 2/3 innings. The Braves won 23 consecutive games he started, breaking the record of 22 set by Hall of Famer Whitey Ford from 1950-53.
While he went 15-12 last season, Medlen was 14-6 from June 3 on, posting a 2.92 ERA and 109 strikeouts to 23 walks in 132 1/3 innings. He got the start in the National League Division Series opener against the Dodgers. He was expected to be the team’s Opening Day starter.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 12, 2014