Braves manager Brian Snitker indicated that Medlen may need to build up his workload in the minors for around three weeks before receiving consideration for a call-up, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Medlen inked a minor-league contract with the Braves in the offseason with the understanding that he'd be behind the team's other healthy pitchers while recovering from a rotator cuff strain, but the organization's investment could soon pay dividends. The 31-year-old resumed pitching in minor-league games in late May and has generally impressed over his four total starts between High-A Florida and Double-A Mississippi, posting a 1.74 ERA over two turns with the latter affiliate. It's expected that he'll soon move up to Triple-A Gwinnett, at which point Medlen would generate more serious intrigue for a rotation spot with the big club if he continues to perform well. With 40-something starters Bartolo Colon (oblique) and R.A. Dickey struggling, hurt or both, it might behoove the Braves to see if Medlen is capable of providing an upgrade at the back end of the rotation.
Medlen (shoulder) made a rehab appearance at High-A Florida on Saturday, tossing six shutout innings while scattering one hit and three walks to go with three strikeouts. Making his first appearance in affiliated ball this season after he was delayed during spring training while recovering from a rotator cuff strain, Medlen navigated seamlessly through six frames, albeit against low-quality competition. He could make a few more rehab starts with some of the Braves' lower-level affiliates before eventually settling into the rotation at Triple-A Gwinnett. Since Medlen doesn't have a spot on the 40-man roster, he may face a difficult path back to the big leagues if the Braves pitching staff remains relatively healthy this season.
Medlen (shoulder) is continuing to build up strength in extended spring training, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Medlen, severely limited by injuries over the past two seasons, is still recovering from a rotator cuff strain that derailed his 2016 campaign. Nonetheless, the rehab is a good sign and it's expected that the 31-year-old will report to a minor-league team as soon as he's ready to get back on the mound.
Medlen signed a minor league contract with the Braves on Friday, David O'Brien of the AJC reports. Medlen returns to the Braves organization after having his option declined by the Royals this offseason. Injuries have limited him to just 21 total major league appearances over the past two seasons, including a shoulder injury that put him on the shelf after May 10. According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, Medlen says he is behind schedule in terms of his rehab, so the Braves will take it slow with their newly acquired right-hander as spring training begins.
Medlen's 2017 option was declined by the Royals on Friday, making him a free agent. Medlen only started six games before going on the shelf for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury, so given his struggles and injury woes, the Royals will send him into free agency. The 31-year-old is a few years removed from a dominant year with the Braves, but given his injuring history, it's hard to see him reverting to that old form.
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