When you’ve lost eight straight and two of your young starters are sucking eggs, you gotta do something. Today the Braves did, sending Kris Medlen down to triple-A Gwinnett and calling up outfielder Jose Constanza.
Now, Medlen is not one of the ones who has been sucking eggs. Indeed, he’s been just fine in a relief role. His demotion is to stretch him out so that he may convert to starting duties, which he’s never done full-time, though he has seen some swingman duties. The egg-sucker-in-chief is Mike Minor. Randall Delgado hasn’t been tearing it up either. Julio Teheran is another starter possibility apart from Medlen.
As for Constanza, oy, here we go again. Last year a couple of fluky weeks by him led manager Fredi Gonzalez to bench Jason Heyward for long stretches. Heyward has hit only .205 for the month of May, so I would not be at all shocked if we see a ton of Constanza time going forward.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.