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

Notre Dame Ranked No. 5 In Class 3A Football Poll

Notre Dame has been ranked No. 5 in Murphy Fair's Class 3A preseason high school football poll in the Tennessee High School Football magazine. No other classification in Tennessee had a more obvious pick for top honors than 3A. Of the 42 coaches who participated in the preseason vote for this class, 41 picked the Tornadoes of Alcoa High School as their pick for the No. ... (click for more)

Signal Mtn DYB is State Runner-up

Known as the Comeback Kids, the Signal Mountain American (10-year-olds) placed second in the Dixie Youth Baseball AAA (9-10s) State Tournament Wednesday, losing in the finals to host and champion Springfield, 12-11. In the Springfield game, Signal Mountain scored three runs in the top of sixth to tie it, 11-11, but the hosts scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Request For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (2)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)