After an MRI showed ligament damage in his right elbow, Braves ace Kris Medlen is preparing himself for a second Tommy John surgery. He went for a second opinion on Tuesday but the results are not yet available.
Just talked to an emotional Kris Medlen. Says he's spent the last few days preparing himself for a second 'Tommy John' surgery. #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) March 12, 2014
Medlen: "I feel like I carry the flag for the underdogs and the people that believe in themselves and no one else does" #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) March 12, 2014
Medlen, 28, left Sunday's start holding his elbow after hurting himself throwing a pitch. He had his first Tommy John surgery back in 2010. The procedure generally has a high success rate the first time, but the second carries much greater risk. Chris Capuano is the most notable recent example of a pitcher who has held up for several years after having two Tommy John surgeries.
The Braves are also dealing with injuries to Mike Minor (shoulder) and Brandon Beachy (biceps), so three of their projected top four starters are hurt right now. The team signed Ervin Santana to a one-year contract worth $14.1 million on Wednesday to boost their rotation.
Medlen went 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA (124 ERA+) in 197 innings last season.