Kris Medlen Will Undergo Tommy John Surgery

Brandon Beachy Getting A Second Opinion

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Kris Medlen will undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time.
Kris Medlen will undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time.
- photo by Tim Evearitt
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Braves pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy received the news they were expecting when they visited Dr. James Andrews at his Pensacola, Fla., office on Monday.

Medlen will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery for the second time in less than four years on Tuesday afternoon. While Beachy seems to still be staring at the likelihood of undergoing this procedure for the second time in less than two years, he will first travel to Los Angeles to get a second opinion from Dr.
Neal ElAttrache.

Before making the six-plus hour drive with Medlen from the Orlando area to Pensacola on Sunday, Beachy indicated that he would be seeking a second opinion regardless of what Dr. Andrews found during his evaluation.

As Medlen and Beachy spent Monday waiting for Dr. Andrews to confirm what had seemingly become inevitable last week, the Braves were in the process of evaluating why so many of their pitchers have recently undergone Tommy John surgery.

Within a span of 24 hours last week, the Braves saw Medlen and Beachy make early exits from their respective starts because of pain and discomfort around their surgically repaired elbows. Medlen immediately knew he was destined to undergo a second Tommy John surgery. Initially optimistic, Beachy was staring at this same likelihood a few days later.

Along with losing two of the top members of their starting rotation, the Braves now have to evaluate what might have led these pitchers to both potentially have to undergo this procedure for a second time in less than four years.

Unfortunately for the Braves, this sudden turn of events conjures memories of what they experienced just 10 months ago, when just a few days separated the revelation that both of their top two projected setup men, Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty, would need to undergo Tommy John surgery.

While O'Flaherty endured the rehab that followed for the first time, Venters had the surgery for the second time since 2005.

Venters at least had the good fortune of seeing his elbow remain structurally sound for at least seven years following the initial procedure. Medlen and Beachy are now staring at the possibility of repeating this procedure much earlier than they could have ever envisioned.

After not pitching much in college and being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008, Beachy made an unexpected rise to Atlanta's rotation during the final weeks of the 2010 season and spent the first two months of the 2012 season establishing himself as one of the game's top pitchers. But his storybook journey was abruptly halted when he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery on June 21, 2012. Beachy made just five starts last year and eventually had to undergo a cleanup surgery in late September, during which Dr. Andrews removed a floating bone chip from his elbow.

As Beachy made three starts during this year's Grapefruit League season, he was plagued by the same elbow inflammation that caused him so much frustration last year.

Medlen was at least a little more fortunate given that he was able to pitch two full seasons following the 13-month rehab that followed the Tommy John procedure he underwent on Aug. 18, 2010. But it is safe to say he never envisioned Dr. Andrews performing this procedure on him again so soon.

Medlen understands statistics have shown that only 20-30 percent of pitchers who undergo a second Tommy John surgery make a successful return to the Major League level. But at the same time, he can look at Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson as one of the most recent pitchers who have beaten the odds.

Over the past week, Medlen has determined that before attempting to return, he will evaluate his mechanics with the intention of doing whatever is necessary to lessen the strain placed on his elbow.

The Braves plan to evaluate a range of potential factors including the treatment their trainers and physical therapists provide to pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery. There will also be an analysis of the strength-and-conditioning activities some of the rehabbing pitchers have done outside of the team's care.

---- Source: MLB.com

Brandon Beachy will seek a second opinion before undergoing surgery again
Brandon Beachy will seek a second opinion before undergoing surgery again
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

JOHN HUNT: Still Finding Reasons To Be Grateful

It’s hard to believe that we’re to the final Thursday in November when most folks in the free world celebrate Thanksgiving.   My how time flies when you’re having fun. I used to always enjoy reading Roy Exum’s columns on Thanksgiving  when he took a little time to recognize people and to give thanks for all of the wonderful things in his life. Following his ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Withstand Comeback To Beat Lady Vols, 67-63

Jim Foster has won more of his share of big games in his 37 years coaching women’s college basketball, first at Vanderbilt and then at Ohio State. He can now say he’s done the same at Chattanooga after his Lady Mocs handed the Tennessee Lady Vols their first loss of the season Wednesday night at McKenzie Arena in front of 4,160 bi-partisan fans. It may have been UTC’s ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 1 Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy with a 35-year-old woman dying and a man critically injured in North Chattanooga. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser St. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having ... (click for more)

Appeal Dropped In $25 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Hennen's Restaurant By Lisa Barnes

An appeal has been dropped of a Circuit Court jury verdict that found Hennen's Restaurant not at fault in a $25 million lawsuit brought by Lisa Barnes. Circuit Court officials said the appeal was "voluntarily" dropped. It had been set to be reviewed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The verdict in the courtroom of Judge Neil Thomas in early February came at the end of ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)