May 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves, Transactions
Mark Bowman knew what he was talking about. As he predicted this morning, Kris Medlen has been demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett in order to stretch his arm to return to the Atlanta rotation. He should make two to three starts at Gwinnett before entering the Braves rotation.
Medlen currently has a 3.49 ERA and 3.69 xFIP in 28.1 relief innings. His strikeout rate is down at 15 percent, but he’s getting more balls on the ground and his line drive rate has remained steady. Part of the lack of strikeouts could be the increase in fastballs thrown as a reliever, as he doesn’t have the fastball or deception to earn a high whiff rate on the pitch. Medlen will likely up his changeup and curveball usage as he returns to the rotation.
This could still mean my theory of skipping Mike Minor on Thursday may happen in order to take advantage of missing Minor’s struggles and allowing Medlen the extra time to prepare in the minors. But optioning Minor as the corresponding move when Medlen is promoted may not be 100 percent certain, as there is also the possibility of Randall Delgado being the odd man out. However, if I had to bank on it right now, Minor would get my vote based on how he has looked over his past couple starts.
In a corresponding move for demoting Medlen right now, outfielder Jose Constanza was promoted to Atlanta and is in the lineup in left field batting ninth tonight. This is meant to spell the bench some, as Freddie Freeman still remains sidelined, Eric Hinske is being forced to play everyday, and Matt Diaz shouldn’t start against right-handed pitchers. On the other hand, Constanza should never start, so it’s basically giving everyone else a breather.
Ben approved of Medlen getting a shot in the rotation. I also mentioned a possible Medlen promotion in today’s news post. The other move Bowman predicted could happen is the promotion of Andrelton Simmons, but there has been no indication of a move yet.