Braves starter Kris Medlen was lifted from his start against the Mets in the fifth inning Wednesday because of an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of his pitching elbow. This according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
It may turn out to be nothing — soreness or tightness, whatever. But, as O’Brien notes, serious injuries to the ulnar collateral ligament often require Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. A tear of any sort could result in Medlen missing the rest of the season, and perhaps more.
The Braves officially converted the 24-year-old right-hander from the bullpen to the starting rotation in June and he’s been brilliant in both roles. Through 31 total appearances this season (14 starts), he has posted a 3.68 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and 83 strikeouts against 21 walks over 107.2 innings.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.