It has been 8 days now since the Atlanta Braves optioned Kris Medlen to Triple A Gwinnett to stretch him out from reliever to starter. If you remember back in 2010 before he was injured and needed Tommy John surgery he made 14 starts going 5-0 with a 3.86 ERA with 62Ks in 84 innings. His career marks are a 3.80 ERA and a WHIP of 1.25 in 206 innings with 175 Ks. Those are numbers and Fantasy owner would welcome on their team.
After coming back in 2011 he was shut down again from lingering soreness from his reconstruction surgery. This year neither soreness nor regression; the Braves plan on Medlen getting 3-4 starts in Tripe A before inserting him their rotation for the rest of the year. To date the weak links in the rotation have been Minor and Delgado who have a combined record of 2-8 with an ERA north 6 so far.
In Medlen’s first start in the Minors on 6/2 he did not fare so well. He was on a 65 pitch count and actually went 66. His line of 2.1 innings 5H, 4ER and 2BB was a little shaky at best. The one bright and promising stat was his 4 punch outs.
Expect him to build up to a 100 pitch pitch-count over the next 2 weeks and then be brought up later this month. Since he has not thrown more than 40 pitches in a game this year, I expected rust in his opener. I have already picked him up in my deepest leagues just to stash on my bench. Do I feel he can contribute in Fantasy? Not completely sure yet but I did not want a rival manger to find a hidden pitching gem either. I will keep him on my bench for a month to monitor his success and you should too.