Reading material for Strasburg: Kris Medlen's blog

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As he prepares for Tommy John surgery, Stephen Strasburg should have plenty of time to catch up on his reading. He might want to start with the blog of another young pitcher going through the same thing: Kris Medlen.
Medlen opened the season in Atlanta’s bullpen before moving into the rotation in place of an injured Jair Jurrjens in May and outperforming Kenshin Kawakami to earn a permanent spot. Unfortunately, he hurt his elbow earlier this month and underwent Tommy John surgery after going 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 107 2/3 innings for the Braves.
The 24-year-old Medlen plans to chronicle his rehab over the next several months. He made his first blog entry Thursday, eight days after undergoing the procedure:

I look like a mummy…. And I could smell like one too. Can’t get the arm and leg wet yet. Have you ever tried to shower without getting your right arm and left leg wet??? I won’t go into to many details, but the kitchen sink is good for more than just washing dishes!

Medlen probably has a better chance of pitching in major league games next year than Strasburg does. Not only will he have gotten started on his rehab a few weeks earlier, but given his history out of the pen, the Braves won’t be afraid to have him return as a reliever. If his first entry is any indication, it’s going to be awfully difficult to hold him back.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.