Kris Medlen Exits Sunday's Game With Elbow Strain

Brandon Beachy Leaves Monday's Start With Tightness In Right Arm

Monday, March 10, 2014
Kris Medlen pitching for the Braves Sunday at Port St. Lucie
Kris Medlen pitching for the Braves Sunday at Port St. Lucie
- photo by Tim Evearitt

SUNDAY AT PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- When Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez delayed announcing his Opening Day starter in case an injury altered his plan, he was not necessarily preparing himself to deal with an ailment as potentially serious as the one Kris Medlen incurred while pitching against the Mets on Sunday afternoon.

Medlen exited the game in the fourth inning with what the Braves are calling a right forearm strain. The veteran right-hander will undergo an MRI exam and be further evaluated by the team's orthopedist, Dr. Marvin Royster, in the Orlando area on Monday.

While there is a chance Medlen will learn he needs to undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time in less than four years, the Braves are hoping for the best and hanging on to the optimism that they gathered after Mets physician Dr. Struan Coleman examined the pitcher Sunday afternoon.

Gonzalez had no choice but to fear for the worst when Medlen immediately walked toward the dugout after throwing his second pitch to Mets first baseman Matt Clark with two outs in the fourth inning. Medlen had grabbed his elbow and walked toward second base to gather himself after he threw his first pitch to Clark.

The always accommodating Medlen provided a sense of what he is feeling when he chose not to talk to reporters before exiting the stadium to make the 90-minute drive back to the Braves' Spring Training facility.

Unfortunately, Medlen's reaction following Sunday's final pitch was similar to the one he had when he exited a start against the Mets on Aug. 4, 2010. He underwent Tommy John surgery two weeks later and then endured a long rehab process that sidelined him until the final week of the 2011 regular season.

Since returning from that procedure, Medlen has established himself as one of the game's most underappreciated pitchers. He has produced a 2.47 ERA in the 43 starts he has made since becoming a mainstay in Atlanta's starting rotation on July 31, 2012.

With Tim Hudson now with the Giants, Medlen stood as the obvious choice to serve as Atlanta's Opening Day starter. The Braves might now begin the regular season with their top two projected starters -- Medlen and Mike Minor -- both on the disabled list. Minor reported to Spring Training behind schedule because of the month-long stretch of inactivity he experienced after undergoing a urinary tract procedure on Dec. 31. He began throwing off a mound again last week and is still aiming to join Atlanta's rotation by the end of the regular season's second week.

If Minor and Medlen are both sidelined at the beginning of the season, Atlanta could open the year with a starting rotation that consists of Brandon Beachy, Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, and Freddy Garcia.

Courtesy of two early scheduled off-days, the Braves could use a four-man rotation until April 12. If Minor continues to progress like he has over the past couple of weeks, he would likely be ready to join the rotation before that date.

MONDAY AT CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Approximately 24 hours after Medlen walked off the mound with a potentially serious elbow injury, BrandsonBeachy was rudely reminded on Monday that he has not completely recovered from the elbow ailments that have limited him to five Major League starts over the past 20 months.

As Beachy labored through two ugly innings against the Phillies on Monday afternoon, he threw just 14 of his 37 pitches for strikes and saw his fastball top out at 88 miles per hour. Instead of attempting to complete the four innings he was slated to pitch, the Braves right-hander exited and confirmed he has felt some tightness around his right elbow and biceps muscle over the past couple of weeks.

Members of the Braves' medical staff have comforted Beachy by telling him the discomfort he has felt should be viewed as normal given what he has experienced the past two years. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2012, Beachy endured a frustration-filled return attempt and was limited to five starts in 2013 because of elbow inflammation.

Beachy was shut down in August, and a month later he underwent a cleanup surgical procedure, during which Dr. James Andrews removed a floating bone chip from his elbow. While the 27-year-old hurler has repeatedly said he has not felt any discomfort since he began throwing in January, he now admits that he has been restricted by the tightness he has felt the past couple of weeks.

Beachy was not ready to confirm whether he will make his next scheduled Spring Training start or project whether he will be ready for the start of the regular season. Monday's two-inning stint came just five days after he had tossed three scoreless innings against the Phillies on this same Bright House Field mound.

------- Source: MLB.com

Brandon Beachy
Brandon Beachy
- Photo2 by tim

Maggie Scott, Gene Pearce Headed to State Golf Hall

A 12-time state senior player of the year, one of golf’s great historians, a key player in the formation of the Tennessee Golf Association in 1914 and the founder and first president of the Women’s Tennessee Golf Association (WTGA) comprise the impressive class of inductees for the 2015 Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. The foursome are senior player of the year Maggie Scott, historian ... (click for more)

Nathan Eovaldi, Former Lookouts' Pitcher, Traded To Yankees For Martin Prado

The Yankees added another piece to their rotation on Friday, acquiring right-hander  Nathan Eovaldi  from the Marlins in exchange for infielder  Martin Prado  as part of a five-player deal. Eovaldi is familiar to Lookouts' fans since he spent the better part of two seasons in Chattanooga (2011, 2012). Prado was very popular with Braves fans who hated ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Fire Causes $30,000 In Damages At Scenic City Concrete

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a reported structure fire shortly after  10 p.m. Thursday  at Scenic City Concrete Pumping, located at 2903 South Orchard Knob Avenue. Captain Donny McMillian with Engine 9 said smoke was visible when the first firefighters arrived. Captain McMillian said the firefighters had to force their way through a locked gate and into ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: God Bless Cathy & Co.

The secret to the whole thing is not getting caught but somebody at the Toys R Us store in Framingham, Mass., had a camera when Cathy O’Grady was very quietly paying off all the layaway balances at the popular location last week. The picture snaked its way onto social media sites and her friends quickly recognized the area’s most famous “layaway angel.” Then somebody in nearby ... (click for more)