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Kris Medlen does not want to go to the bullpen

Jun 11, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT

Kris Medlen AP 2

As we noted over the weekend, the Braves will have a starting pitcher glut when Brandon Beachy comes back from Tommy John surgery in the next week or so. But as Dave O’Brien reports, the one guy in the rotation with bullpen experience — Kris Medlen — is not at all interested in moving back to the pen:

“I’ll let it be known that I don’t want to go down there (to the bullpen),” Medlen said. “I don’t. At all. But it’s out of my hands. I mean, if it happens, obviously it happens. I’m a team player.”

Well, I suppose a true team player would make that objection a private thing rather than tell it to a reporter, but OK.

I think that, unless the Braves want to ease Beachy into things with some bullpen time — something of which there has been no indication whatsoever — you have to move Medlen to the pen for a bit. For one thing, he was doing it a year ago. For another, it’s worth mentioning that he only pitched 130 or so innings last year and if he keeps on his current pace as a starter he’ll be way over 200. Maybe this would be good for him.

No matter the case, I can’t remember a team who has been reported to have too many viable starting pitchers ever truly suffer for having too many. I can remember a lot of teams described that way who, when it was all said and done, needed every last one of those allegedly surplus arms.

  1. baseballici0us - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Nor should he. He is a very good, quality SP. Freddi needs to go to a six-man rotation until the all-star break and buy himself some time to make the decision.

    • specialkindofstupid - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      My thoughts exactly.

  2. specialkindofstupid - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    I get the “on his current pace as a starter he’ll be way over 200 (innings)” and “he’s been a reliever before” points, but if Fredi Gonzalez bumps Medlen to the bullpen…well, I could only assume Fredi to be getting his insanity plea in place for some crime he plans on committing in the future. No way you move Medlen.

    If someone has to move to the pen, it should be Julio Teheran for the same “innings pitched” concerns stated for Medlen. Teheran is a rookie on pace for 195 innings this year. Moving him to the pen would offset that.

    But, honestly, if the Braves have so many starting pitchers, and with two of them innings pitched is a concern (plus Beachy, who will still be a work in progress), why not just go to a 6-man rotation?

    Eventually someone will get hurt, allowing the team to go back to 5 starters. But in the meantime, heck, just go 6 deep and let everyone get extra rest between starts. They all will be fresher for the stretch run.

    • jeffbbf - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      The problem is roster space. 6 starters means one less reliever, which is very taxing on a pitching staff. I wish the Cubs had these problems.

  3. mickbluenose1960 - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Bullpening Medlen is a disastrous idea – he’s been (by far) the best of the Braves SP’s in the past 12 months or so. Wasted in the pen – either go 6 rotation as other posters have said and wait for the inevitable injury or send Julio to the pan for the same reason specialkindofstupid said. The worst option available is sending Medlen there

    • foreverchipper10 - Jun 12, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      I would argue that Mike Minor has been the best or at least on par with Medlen. Since July of last year Minor has made three non-quality starts, two of which the Braves won. One of them, a win, he lasted only 3 2/3 innings but they were scoreless. Maybe he left with an injury. Regardless, since the middle of last year, around the time Medlen came into the rotation, Minor has been just as good, if not better.

  4. yahmule - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    They should consider moving BJ Upton to Gwinnett.

  5. blockedshotnyr - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    I personally think there will be some phantom DL stint that will sort this out temporarily until a real injury, trade, etc., can be worked out.

    Two questions…

    What were Teheran’s innings last year and is it possible he’s on a limit this year?

    And why has Paul Maholm never been mentioned as a guy to switch to long-man temporarily?

    • baseballici0us - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      Regarding Maholm: Because he is 7-4 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.202 WHIP in 80.2 IP. And because statistically, he is having one of his best years as a major leaguer.

      *he is also a lefty which doesn’t hurt*

    • baseballici0us - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      I don’t think a phantom DL is wise….especially is the DL player doesn’t get to pitch during that time.

      Sorry forgot about your other question regarding Teheran’s IP:
      2010 – 142.2
      2011 – 165.1
      2012 – 137.1

  6. paperlions - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Tim Hudson should go to the pen, because, you know, he is by far the least effective SP on the Braves and decisions should be made based on what is good for the team.

    At Medlen’s age, he should be able to handle 200 or so IP just fine. He actually threw 150 last year (AAA and MLB).

  7. Shafer's Dealer - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    If I remember hearing this right, the Braves are the only team to have the same starting rotation so far year.

  8. jjohnb5393 - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    They will trade Tim Hudson for prospect…….just wait……Hudson free agent at end of year… value past this contract .

    • daveitsgood - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Unless I’m mistaken, Huddy is a 10-5 guy and can’t be traded unless he wants to be. Seems like between the amount on his contract remaining for this season and his liking of the ATL, he’s not going anywhere.

  9. Walk - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    I also think the braves are likely to send medlen back to the pen. It is unfortunate as he is by far my favorite braves pitcher. Not afraid to challenge hitters, works in and out even up to a lesser degree, starts using the change the second time through the order, and has a decent curve he uses and changes speed with as well. Hopefully they go with the six man idea and ride the hot arms, but ultimately I hope beachy and Teheran share the fifth spot with the other being available either for a day as a long reliever or two days as a short man.

  10. professormaddog31 - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I hate the idea of Meds getting sent back to the pen. His W-L is not exactly an indication of his performance. I, too, like the idea of a six man rotation; but I think Beachy is going to have to pay his dues in the pen for a little bit until he’s 100% back up to speed. If anything, Maholm (to me) has been fairly weak, maybe send him down for a breather in the pen until we can see what Brandon can do.

    Meds has earned his starter’s role. It’d be nice if he was able to keep it for a while.

  11. 13arod - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    yahmule bj is heating up now shut up

  12. 13arod - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    daveitsgood the said that the will trade paul or hudson before trade deadline so you are wrong

  13. mlenenski - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    13arod said: daveitsgood the said that the will trade paul or hudson before trade deadline so you are wrong…..

    I guess it’s never too early to start drinking and trolling.

    And, Medlen needs to fight like hell to keep his starter slot….screw the team if they do that to him.

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