Kris Medlen ready to face hitters for first time since Tommy John surgery

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Royals right-hander Kris Medlen missed the entire 2014 season following the second Tommy John surgery of his career, but he’s inching closer to game action.

According to Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com, Medlen is scheduled to travel to the team’s complex in Surprise, Arizona on Monday to begin facing hitters. He’s about 13 months removed from surgery right now, but the Royals are understandably being cautious about his rehab process. The hope is that he could be a candidate to contribute around midseason.

After being non-tendered by the Braves last November, Medlen joined the Royals on a two-year, $8.5 million contract with a $10 million mutual option for 2017. The 29-year-old owns a 2.95 ERA over 61 starts and 91 relief appearances in his career, so he’s a fine gamble.