You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Medlen returning to Braves; popular pitcher signs minor league deal


Kris Medlen is coming back to the Braves in hopes of reviving his career where it began.

The veteran right-hander, among the Braves’ most popular players of the past decade, signed a minor league contract this week after spending the past two seasons with the Royals, who declined a 2017 option.

After coming back from two Tommy John elbow surgeries and then missing much of the 2016 season with shoulder problems, Medlen , 31, considered retirement in the fall before deciding to begin working with a biomechanics expert to refine his delivery in hopes of continuing his career.

“I’m giving it a go and Coppy (Braves general manager John Coppolella) and Co. are being patient and 100 percent supportive,” Medlen said in a text message. “Couldn’t be happier about the situation compared to where I was mentally about four months ago.”

His Braves contract doesn’t include an invitation to major league spring training; he’ll spend the spring rebuilding arm strength and continuing to work on his delivery.

“Could’ve been invited, but I’m in New Orleans working with a bio mechanics dude, attempting to figure things out,” Medlen said. “Was late getting ready this year because I was contemplating hanging ‘em up (retiring)…. From where I was a few months ago, I’m a different person. I was about as low as it gets.”

Medlen debuted in the majors with Atlanta in 2009 and went 41-25 with a 3.25 ERA in 173 games (75 starts) over parts of five seasons with the Braves through 2013. He was a sensation in 2012, going 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 50 games including 9-0 with a microscopic 0.97 ERA in 12 starts after a midseason move to the rotation.

The affable Southern California native had his second Tommy John elbow surgery with the Braves during spring training 2014. He missed that entire season and then left as a free agent, signing a two-year, $8.5 million deal with Kansas City – a contract that reflected how highly he was thought of by Royals general manager Dayton Moore and other former Braves officials in the Royals front office.

After going 6-2 with a 4.01 ERA in 15 games (eight starts) for the Royals in 2015, Medlen had shoulder injuries twice during the 2016 season and was limited to six major league starts, going 1-3 with a 7.77 ERA and more walks (20) than strikeouts (18) in 24 1/3 innings.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Freeman’s 9th-inning homer gives Braves a wild win at Milwaukee
Freeman’s 9th-inning homer gives Braves a wild win at Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE – After the Braves twice rallied from four-run deficits without any contributions from Freddie Freeman, the big first baseman came through when it counted most Friday night. Freeman’s two-run homer to center field in the ninth inning lifted the Braves to a 10-8 series-opening win against the Brewers at Miller Park, the third consecutive...
After solid spring, Braves’ Bonifacio has floundered
After solid spring, Braves’ Bonifacio has floundered

MILWAUKEE – After going to Braves spring training as a non-roster invitee and earning an opening-day roster spot, Emilio Bonifacio seemed poised to get his career back on track following two dismal seasons at the major league level in 2015 and 2016. But 20 games into the season, Bonifacio was struggling to get into a rhythm and had fared particularly...
Braves’ Phillips misses second start
Braves’ Phillips misses second start

MILWAUKEE – Brandon Phillips was out of the Braves lineup Friday night for the second consecutive game since straining his left groin, but the veteran second baseman had progressed and was expected to start Saturday in the second game of the three-game series against the Brewers. “He’s doing good,” said Braves manager Brian...
Braves’ TV ratings are up sharply this season
Braves’ TV ratings are up sharply this season

The Braves are drawing sharply higher local TV ratings than a year ago. Through their first 17 telecasts on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast, the Braves’ ratings increased 64 percent in the Atlanta TV market compared to the same point last season, from a 1.4 average rating then to a 2.3 this season. That includes a 73 percent jump for...
Dickey doesn’t think injury will affect next start
Dickey doesn’t think injury will affect next start

NEW YORK – R.A. Dickey’s first start back at Citi Field since his Mets heyday ended sooner than he expected because of a quadriceps spasm, but the 42-year-old knuckleballer was nonetheless pleased with the results in a 7-5 win Thursday that gave the Braves a two-game sweep of the Mets. Dickey gave up five hits and three runs (two earned)...
More Stories