Kris Medlen back with Braves following Tommy John surgery

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The Braves have a new weapon for their bullpen just in time for the postseason.

According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves have activated right-hander Kris Medlen from the 60-day disabled list.

Medlen hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. It looked like he was done for the season after suffering a setback in his rehab earlier this summer, but he was able to throw two innings in the Braves’ instructional league earlier this week. If he impresses over the next few days, he could be included in the Braves’ bullpen should they reach the postseason.

Medlen, who turns 26 next month, has a 3.90 ERA and 155/51 K/BB ratio over 175 1/3 innings in the majors. He had a 3.68 ERA and 81/23 K/BB ratio over 14 starts and 17 relief appearances last season before suffering a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.