Medlen announced his retirement from professional baseball Sunday, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic Arizona reports. Aside from a disastrous one-start cameo with Arizona earlier this month, Medlen had spent the entire season at the Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate in Reno, where he held a a 5.03 ERA over 34 innings this season. He'll end his 13-year professional career with a 3.33 cumulative ERA over nearly 600 big-league innings between the Braves, Royals and Diamondbacks.
Medlen was optioned to Triple-A Reno on Saturday. Medlen was up for just one start and got shelled, giving up seven runs on nine hits and four walks in just four innings Friday against Houston. Braden Shipley was promoted to take his place on the roster.
Medlen's contract was purchased from Triple-A Reno on Friday. As expected, Medlen will join the big-league squad to start Friday's game against the Astros. The 32-year-old last appeared in the majors in 2016 for the Royals, where he produced a 7.77 ERA in six starts for Kansas City. He'll face off with Gerrit Cole in his season debut. To make room for him on the active roster, Silvino Bracho was optioned to Triple-A and Taijuan Walker (elbow) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Medlen will start Friday against the Astros, Jack Magruder of FanRagSports.com reports. With Robbie Ray expected to miss multiple starts with a Grade 2 oblique strain, the Diamondbacks will give Medlen the first opportunity to fill in for him in the rotation. The 32-year-old Medlen hasn't appeared in the majors since 2016 and owns an unremarkable 6.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP through four starts with Triple-A Reno this season, but his prior big-league experience likely influenced the Diamondbacks' decision. Arizona will have to clear a spot for Medlen on its 40-man roster prior to Friday's game, which can easily be done by transferring Taijuan Walker (elbow) to the 60-day DL. With Medlen lining up against the defending World Series Champions, Friday may be a good opportunity to stack bats against the veteran right-hander.
The Diamondbacks reassigned Medlen to their minor-league camp Monday, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports. Medlen has worked as a starter for most of his big-league career, but with no rotation spots up for grabs in Arizona, the right-hander had been competing for a long-relief role in spring training. The 32-year-old didn't provide many signs during the exhibition schedule that he would be a useful bullpen arm, finishing the spring with 11 runs allowed (nine earned) on 18 hits and seven walks over 15.1 innings. Medlen will presumably report to Triple-A Reno and return to a rotation role, but it's difficult to imagine him resurfacing in the big leagues this season as anything more than a short-term starter.