Braves right-hander Kris Medlen spent the first four months of the 2012 regular season in a relief role.
It will be a shame if he’s ever asked to go back.
The 26-year-old from Santa Ana, California made his third start of the season on Saturday night against the Mets and was brilliant yet again, allowing just a single run in 6 1/3 innings while striking out seven New York batters. He yielded one run in five-plus innings versus the Astros last Sunday and one run in five innings against the Marlins the week before that.
Fleshed out, Medlen has a 1.62 ERA, a 16/4 K/BB ratio and a .583 opponents’ OPS in three turns through the Atlanta rotation. The Braves are 3-0 in his starts.
Tommy Hanson is just about ready to return from a back injury and a rotation spot will have to be cleared for his arrival. Medlen might be the easiest choice for demotion because of his past experience as a reliever and his willingness to handle any gig, but the Braves would do well to let the good times roll.
Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.
Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.
Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.