As the New York Mets battled the Atlanta Braves on Sunday a possible unfortunate event happened regarding starting pitcher for the Braves, Kris Medlen. He grabbed his elbow and then abruptly left the field of play after a pitch in the fourth inning. Though the team calls it a forearm strain for now, it is clear that most are worried about him needing the infamous Tommy John surgery.
This would certainly be an unfortunate turn of events for the Braves but it would not be a crippling blow to the season. Some are overreacting a little bit to the two injuries to the Braves rotation thus far. Even with Mike Minor and Medlen on the disabled list to start the season, they would not have to do anything drastic. Minor will be ready probably by the end of the second week.
A couple of off-days early on would mean the Braves could go with a four-man rotation until then. Even if Minor is not ready by that time other options are available from within. David Hale has been slated as a possible rotation member all spring anyway and he certainly has proven he could be ready in a pinch.
Basically the Braves will have Brandon Beachy, Julio Teheran, Alex Wood and Freddy Garcia ready to go on Opening Day. If injuries occur to one or more of those gentlemen then the Braves have a problem. Until then it is a huge overreaction to claim their season is over because of Minor being gone for a couple of weeks and Medlen possibly gone indefinitely.
Remember it was Medlen who was headed to the bullpen because of lack of performance among other issues before Tim Hudson went down in 2013. The Braves will be fine even if it is a worst case scenario for Medlen. Here’s hoping he can return fairly early in the season. Even if he does not though it is not time for doom and gloom for Braves fans.