There’s no hiding from the facts anymore. Atlanta Braves starter Kris Medlen will officially be out for at least 12 months due to the Tommy John surgery that Dr. James Andrews performed for him on Wednesday.
He has been a huge part of the Braves’ rotation for the past year and a half, with the team winning 23 straight games that Medlen had started. He’s also won 25 games over the past two seasons in 43 starts, winning 15 last year alone. In those two seasons, Medlen’s ERA averages around 2.40, with a mark of 3.11 last season.
The most important thing that the Braves will lose in Medlen this season is a guy that has battled back through an injury and an absolute bulldog on the mound. He wants to do nothing but win, but it’s not a weird thing to see him out smiling when he’s on the mound. He has a good time competing, and it’s clear to see that it hurts him to not be able to pitch for the team this season.
With him gone, the game of baseball has lost one of it’s most likable “under dogs” in the game. He isn’t the big, strong Clayton Kershaw, and he’s not the wiry Justin Verlander, but just the merely 5-foot-10, 190 pounds of competition. He’s nothing to really be afraid of standing on top of the mound, yet he led the Braves to a playoff berth in 2012 and won 15 games for the team that won the NL East in 2013.
He will be missed, surely, but there is no doubt that Medlen will come back just as good, if not better, than he has been in the past two years. This season, Braves fans will have to watch a rotation that is without one of the most fun guys to watch on the mound, but should have no doubt that they will enjoy his presence next season.