There’s been no official announcement yet because he’s seeking a second opinion, but Braves right-hander Kris Medlen told reporters today that he expects to undergo Tommy John elbow surgery.
Medlen injured his elbow on a pitch Sunday and actually remained in the game for two more pitches, but eventually exited after bouncing a ball to the plate while clearly in pain. He’s already had one Tommy John surgery in his career, so Medlen admitted that staying in the game was mostly him being frustrated and in denial.
His injury–along with fellow Atlanta starters Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor also being hurt–is a big part of why the Braves signed Ervin Santana to a one-year, $14.1 million deal this morning. Medlen was one of the NL’s best starters in both 2012 and 2013, combining to throw 335 innings with a 2.47 ERA and 277/70 K/BB ratio after coming back from the first surgery. Going under the knife a second time would cost him all of 2014 and potentially part of 2015 as well.
When Cardinals starter Carlos Martínez returns from the disabled list, likely some time next week, he will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Martínez has been on the disabled list since late July with a strained right shoulder. The plan is still for Martínez to start in 2019 and beyond.
GM John Mozeliak said, “If you’re going to go down that starting path and you’re starting at ground zero, the likelihood of him being back would be sometime in mid-September. And we’ve done that twice this year and ended up in the same place after a few starts.”
Martínez, 26, has a 3.41 ERA and a 98/49 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings across 18 starts this season. The Cardinals’ rotation currently features Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, John Gant, Luke Weaver, and Austin Gomber.
The Cardinals entered play Monday 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the National League, so adding Martínez to the bullpen — or, subtracting him from the rotation, depending on how you look at it — could make a significant impact on the club’s playoff chances.