Kris Medlen

Kris Medlen Statistics and History –

Normally I’d do an “Other starting pitching possibilities” post, but there’s only one real possibility if someone can’t start the season, and it’s Medlen. Medlen has a lot of positives as a starting candidate, in that he’s pitched well as a starter in the minors and has great stuff. On the other hand, he’s 5-10. That’s really the only reason that anyone doesn’t think of him as a starter — though he’s probably the best long-term closer candidate that the Braves have.

Medlen made four starts with the big club, and his ERA was 6.38. That’s slightly deceptive. He pitched poorly in his first start, was great in his third, and was adequate in the other two, one of which was an emergency start in Colorado. In that small sample, he showed power — nineteen strikeouts in eighteen and a third innings — but bad control — eleven walks — and also allowed four homers. The expectation is that he would improve with experience, and the strikeouts are a nice base to improve on. As a reliever, he put up a 3.47 ERA and kept the strikeouts up, but showed much better control. The Braves hopefully won’t need him in the rotation, and he could be a major contributor in the bullpen. You probably won’t want to pigeonhole him just yet, though. Starters are a lot more valuable than relievers.

Though he was a two-way player in college, went 0-13 as a hitter in the majors. On the other hand, was a .333 hitter (in limited work) in the minors, and is a good athlete.

86 thoughts on “Kris Medlen”

  1. I think nerves had a lot to do with the early control issues, therefore I too have a lot of confidence in him starting if we need him to.

  2. 19%??

    What a drag it is getting old.

    Uh, does anyone think the Yankees are better now than they were at the end of last year?

  3. I would hope that Medlen gets in some starter work, especially since the rotation has a few injury/age risks in it.

  4. Lets just say it becomes apparent that we need an outfielder around May, do you include Medlen in a package to get one? We’ve got 3 34+ year old starters.

  5. @4, I am not sure what this tells you. A teams highest paid players are also likely to be among it’s oldest, and thus most likely to get injured. In the Braves case, as has been noted, a single injury to a very highly paid guy accounts for a lot of this value. Because the Red Sox and Yanks have such comparatively high payrolls, it minimizes the impact as a percentage of the total when any given player gets hurt.

  6. True. The Pirates are near the bottom too. Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox are the very last on the list, at 6%.

    In and of itself, without context, that list doesn’t tell you much. But it’s not meaningless. I’d love to see a little more unpacking of it. (Remember, the list is adjusted for insurance money.)

  7. @5 – Defensively, replacing Damon/Cabrera with Granderson/Cameron is better. Acquiring Vazquez, who was far better than anyone else on their staff including Sabathia last season, is better. They are going to give back some offense from their OF-DH, but they have an infield that has a top 3 offensive player at every position. I’d say they are at least as good as they were going into 2009, and maybe a bit better. I wouldn’t like to be in a division with them.

  8. spike,

    I think it tells you more than just that high priced players cost you more on injuries. In fact, the two teams that pay the biggest salaries are among the lowest.

    I am not sure I got AAR’s point about insurance. I saw insurance at the bottom, but not the top. Also, if the chart doesn’t take into account money paid by earlier clubs, then the team it is charged to is not really the one that did the bad deal (not necessarily).

    For Braves, the actual prorated cost of Hampton was about 8 million per year. If he was 50% insured for 15 million, then he almost didn’t cost anything. However, if you run it at the original gross salary, that was a 60 million hit.

  9. @ 125 Quite right – my mistake. Review before posting and all that. Point still stands though.

  10. Also, I hate saying “he’s a Red Sox.” I pretty much hate everything about that team now, even the way that their stupid “x” precludes their nickname from ever being singular. It sounds stupid to say “he’s a Red Sox” — but that’s the abomination they’ve perpetrated on the English language.

    Okay, I feel a little better now.

  11. Very scary tweet from Heyman a few minutes ago. He seems to be wrong a lot and hopefully that remains true here:

    “#braves, #reds could be in mix for garret anderson”

  12. Garrett Anderson is a Boras client. Jon Heyman is an unabashed Boras water carrier. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  13. I dont think Huddy or Oswalt can be much taller than Medlen either. I think Id like Medlen more as a starter, but comfortable with him in either situation.

  14. AAR,
    I hear you, buddy. It’s even worse for outfits like the Miami Heat or the Oklahoma City Thunder. I mean, what do you call a Heat player? A Heater? A calorie?

    For all you USC Trojan lovers:

    Chan Ho Park, apparently, to the Yankees.

    Nice to finally hook up with you Friday for that BBQ. Got back to ATL a little later than I wanted last night & I had a super-early flight this a.m., so I just chilled with the hockey. (Awesome effort, boys!) We’ll get that cocktail next go ’round. Thanks again.

    BTW, those Vic Chesnutt shows were really fun. For longtime Athenians, it was kind of a cross between “The Last Waltz” (onstage) & “The Big Chill” (offstage).

    The Friday gig was more about presenting local acts/collaborators & longtime Vic friends. Lotsa old-friend re-connections, people coming from outta town (like me). In a weird way, it felt like an old-time Athens house party.

    The Saturday gig had more outta town acts/collaborators & it had a more
    “respectful” feel, in that some of the artists probably thought the whole 40 Watt Club would be hushed & tearful or something.

    This being Athens, it was just the opposite. So a couple acts certainly seemed a bit miffed that about a third of the packed room wanted to blab with old friends during quieter songs. (Even though he was really great, I kinda felt sorry for Howe Gelb, who suffered most from the boozy indifference in the back of the room.)

    Top-of-the-Head Highlights (I’m still a little foggy):
    David Barbe & The Quick Hooks’ spiky interpretation of “Bakersfield.”

    Backed by DBT’s Patterson Hood, Kelly Hogan’s soaring cover of “Soft Picasso.” Whew, that gal can sing.

    Centro-Matic’s Will Johnson did a version of “Independence Day” that burned holes in you.

    And I can’t say enough about the deeply moving & effortlessly spiritual three-song set from Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra (with Guy Picciotto)—just chills.

    I’m still processing it. Everybody was blown away and, faced with such a commanding performance, even the blabby, big-chillin’ drunks STFU.

  15. To Joelk from last thread. I live just east of Grand Island. We usually get one or two snowfalls a year, this year, two blizzards, one or two heavy snowstorms, and 4-5 days like yesterday with 1-2 inches. Very depressing.
    I want to see Chipper, Nate, Heyward, and our great pitchers, man I’m ready!

  16. Kris I think will step up and do well, at least I hope he does. He could become a key addition to the team because of his youth. BTW I’m trying to forget Garret Andersons’ existance on the earth. He really played the “Gary Shefield” role last year and in my opinion. I’m glad he’s gone.

  17. ububba –

    I have shared the stage with a lot of folks over the years (won’t namedrop here, but a couple of certifiable legends among them), and really, truly, playing with Kelly will always be a treasured moment of the highest order. I have never been moved to tears while performing before or since.

  18. Didn’t Medlen have plus control in the minors? One must wonder if the walks last year were due to “nerves.”

  19. 26,
    I liked this quote a lot:

    “He’s still No. 71?” Jones said. He grinned and added, “I’m going to say he’s not No. 71 at the end [of spring training]. Just a hunch.”

  20. In 227 minor league ip 2.0 BB/9, 10.4 SO/9, 5.16 SO/BB.
    As a Brave, 67 ip 4.0 BB/9, 9.6 SO/9, 2.40 SO/BB

    I don’t see why some improvement wouldn’t be expected here.

  21. 5, the Bronx Bombers are better than they were last season sad to say. But when you have unlimited funds and the talent available to sign, well, it is what it is.

    I have no issue with Medlen’s height. Stand him next to Tim Lincecum, they are almost the same. That said, he makes for great rotational depth and enhances the bullpen. I’m glad to have him.

    Also, Jurrjens shoulder has got to have the Braves thinking about adding to their rotational depth chart. John Smoltz would look good again in a Braves uniform if he is willing to pitch out of the bullpen.

  22. Spike,
    I hear you. Sadly for me, I hadn’t seen Kelly Hogan actually perform since The Jody Grind days, but she is still amazing.

  23. A Miami Heat player would be El Heat as opposed to Los Heat. Orlando player is a Magi (but I refer to them as the Magi, so I guess that’s the same problem).

    How about… a Red Sok?

    Wow, never mind. El Heat was their dumb jersey in the first place. Un partido del Heat? Maybe a degree – that’s in the vein of calorie.

  24. With this JJ situation, I have a bad feeling he is going to start throwing again and his shoulder will start bothering him. The team will rest him and we will all hear about how is is going to pitch a minor league game after he goes and has a “drink” with Mike Hampton/ Johns Smoltz’s best friend Dr James Andrews.

    All of the sudden he is out for the year.

  25. @48,

    I can’t believe we’re swapping a guy as bright as Boog for Chip “I Eat Crayons” Caray. Unreal.

  26. Well, there’s your first round draft pick. Apparently, he is/was a Boras client that was drawing serious ~3M interest from the Yankees and Indians at 16 before questions arose about his age.

    If we really signed him for 1.6, and his age and talent level pan out, it would be quite a coup.

  27. Ryan C, I love the signing, we need to add more like him if possible

    DOB said everyone enjoyed watching Heyward take BP today. All players are raving about his attitude and his strength. This kid might just make the team out of ST

  28. Hmm, guess I should have seen it coming, but I’m not really enjoying this Heyward circlejerk. Let the dude do his thing.

    I hope he’s got some backbone. If that were me, that hype would drive me up a wall.

  29. I swear I remember that “ball sounds different” line being used about Frenchy, and often, a couple years back.

  30. Hah! I almost posted the same thing after reading that DOB line a few minutes ago. I had a solid chuckle about that one. Especially after the gushing comparisons to Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle all day on Twitter after the kid’s first day of practice. :roll: :lol:

  31. Also, if Bobby can’t comment on Heyward without throwing out a Hank Aaron comparison and if DOB can’t write a blog without fawning over his tight undershirt stretched over his bulging biceps, just imagine what’s gonna happen when Joe Simpson starts calling this kid’s games! :shock:

    ” rel=”nofollow”>We all know what his right hand has been up to in that booth all these years.

    And that was just when all he had to jerk to was the rare Francoeur opposite field single. If Heyward lives up to even half of the hype at this point, I shudder to think about the things poor Chip Caray will see beside him in the booth this year. :shock:

  32. I was at a Royals game a couple of years ago where the Royals got rocked (happens fairly often) and they brought Pena in a pitcher. My brother and I both thought he looked surprising good. Fastball at 91-92 with wicked movement and some kind of slurvy breaking ball that got swinging strikes (we were pretty drunk and I couldn’t exactly tell what it was). I don’t know if he can hold up, but if he stays healthy, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him make it as a reliever.

    I’m kind of rooting for him. The Royals never should’ve played him, but that wasn’t his fault. He always tried/seemed like a nice guy and he got booed pretty badly.

  33. I’m too frightened to google “brad komminsk” and “batting practice performance”. I just don’t want to know.

  34. I lived in South Africa for a year, and got to know the game pretty well. Perfect viewing for a Sunday afternoon hangover.

  35. My favorite memory of Brad Komminsk was back on June 19th, 1984 in a game against the San Francisco Giants at Fulton County. The “Phenom” as he was known hit a grand slam in the third inning which just happened to be the Goodies HR inning and some lucky fan won a hundred grand in the contest.

    As it turned out, this was to be his only grand slam and one of only twenty-three HR’s that Komminsk would hit in parts of nine big league seasons (1983-1991).

    But don’t lose bubble gum cards just yet, he’s on his way back to the majors. Komminsk’s managing/coaching career began in 1999 with the Cleveland Indians. Komminsk will return for his third season as manager of the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) in 2010 following a two-year stretch in which he led the club to their first playoff appearance in 11 seasons in 2008 and a third place finish in the Eastern League’s Southern Division in 2009.

  36. Its too bad that Brad Komminsk remains the poster boy for Braves prospect busts. I guess that its that Braves fans didn’t have much to hope for back then as players coming from the pipeline were far and few between in addition to the ‘next Dale Murphy’ hype that came with him. IHMO Andy Marte is a bigger bust than Komminsk.

  37. #78–Gerald Perry was in the minors at about the same time as Komminsk and he was not a bust. That said, I will always associate the two because given the way he was hyped, Perry was a disappointment…..

  38. IHMO Andy Marte is a bigger bust than Komminsk.

    Boy, I don’t know about that – Komminsk put up ridiculous minor league numbers through age 22. Obviously, we don’t have OPS+ to help contextualize them, but they were way off the scale for the early 80’s.

    /edit – having said that, it’s worth noting that Heyward’s are far superior given his age, even allowing for an increased offensive era.

  39. I think I posted the same article as someone else. For some reason I was only seeing 26 comments.

    I appologize.

  40. It’s pouring in S. Florida, so I am taking in hockey instead of baseball.


    Anybody watching?

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