Kris Medlen

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Kris Medlen
Kris Medlen on September 14, 2013.jpg
Tenure with the Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves – No. 54
Starting pitcher
Born: (1985-10-07) October 7, 1985 (age 29)
Artesia, California
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 21, 2009 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Win-Loss record 34-20
Earned run average 2.95
Strikeouts 434
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Kristopher Allen Medlen (born October 7, 1985) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB).

College[edit]

Medlen graduated from Gahr High School in Cerritos, CA in the year 2003. He attended El Camino College his freshman year and hit .296 with 18 RBI's as an infielder. As a pitcher, Medlen posted a 2.84 ERA with 17 K's in 19 innings of work, leading the team with 4 saves.[1] Medlen redshirted the next year,[2] before transferring to Santa Ana College. At Santa Ana, Medlen played as the starting shortstop and hit .332 with 10 HR's and 42 RBI. He also served as the team's closer, posting a 2.23 ERA with 16 saves, striking out 57 in 44.1 innings pitched.[3]

Professional career[edit]

2006 Draft[edit]

Medlen was drafted by the Braves in the 10th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. The Braves saw promise for Medlen as a relief pitcher, and drafted him with the intention of using him in the bullpen.[4]

Minor league career[edit]

2006 season[edit]

Medlen played his first professional baseball game on June 22, 2006, for the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League. He appeared in 20 games for Danville, and pitched a total of 22 innings, being credited with 1 Win, 0 Losses and 10 Saves. In those 22 innings, Medlen allowed 14 hits, only 1 earned run, he struck out 36 batters, and allowed only 2 walks. His ERA was 0.41 and his WHIP was 0.727.[5]

2007 season[edit]

Medlen played for three of the Braves minor league teams during 2007, progressing from the Rome Braves (single A, South Atlantic League), to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (high A, Carolina League) and ending the season with the Mississippi Braves (AA, Southern League).[5] His statistics for these three teams were as follows: For the Rome Braves, Medlen appeared in 17 games, logging 20.2 innings, with 33 strike-outs and 3 walks; he had an ERA of 0.87 and a WHIP of 0.774. For the Myrtle Beach Braves, Medlen appeared in 18 games, pitching 24 innings, with 28 strike-outs and 9 walks (2 of them intentional); he had an ERA of 1.12 and a WHIP of 1.230. For the Mississippi Braves, Medlen appeared in only 3 games, for a total of 2.1 innings. He had 2 strike-outs and 2 walks, allowing 4 hits and 3 earned runs (for an ERA of 11.57 and a WHIP of 2.571).[6]

2008 season[edit]

Medlen spent the entire 2008 season with the Mississippi Braves of the Southern League. He made 19 relief appearances from April 5 to June 1, and got his first start on June 5, 2012, against the Mobile BayBears (an Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate). He recorded 10 strike-outs in two of his starts, in a 7.0 inning start against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (on July 7, 2008), a game in which he allowed 4 hits and 1 walk, but also allowed 3 runs, and in a 6.0 inning start against the Carolina Mudcats (on August 22, 2008), a game in which he allowed 3 hits and 1 walk, but no runs.[7] For the season, Medlen started 17 games, with 6 wins and 5 losses.

Medlen was named Southern League pitcher of the week on July 14, 2008, after the week in which he had 10 strike-outs against the Blue Wahoos and a win against the Chattanooga Lookouts, in which he allowed 5 hits, 1 walk and 1 run over 6 innings, while striking out 6 batters.[8]

Atlanta Braves (2009-present)[edit]

2009 season[edit]

Medlen began his major league career as a starter, making his debut on May 21, 2009 pitching just 3.0 innings, giving up 5 earned runs on 3 hits against the Colorado Rockies.[9] Medlen earned his first major league win on May 31, 2009 against the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching 6 innings and giving up only 1 earned run.[10] Medlen went to the Braves bullpen, to make room for rookie starting pitcher Tommy Hanson, and Medlen made his first appearance as a relief pitcher on June 9, 2009, when he pitched scoreless 13th, 14th and 15th innings to get a win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.[11] For the 2009 season, Medlen pitched a total of 67.2 innings, gave up 65 hits and 30 walks, while striking out 72. His record was 3 wins and 5 losses, with an ERA of 4.26.[12]

2010 season[edit]

On August 5, 2010, Medlen was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament tear in his right elbow. It was announced by the Atlanta Braves that he would require Tommy John Surgery to repair the damage, ending his season.

2011 season[edit]

Medlen spent much of the 2011 season rehabbing following the surgery. He was activated from the 60-day disabled list on September 24, 2011, and pitched in only two games.[13]

2012 season[edit]

In the Bullpen[edit]

Medlen began the 2012 major league season as a reliever for the Atlanta Braves, typically pitching middle innings before the Braves set-up man and closer came on for the 8th and 9th innings. He was sent down to the Braves AAA team (the Gwinnett Braves), for the purpose of "stretching him out" to return to the majors as a starter. He started only three games for the Gwinnett Braves, pitching 2.1, 5.0 and 6.0 innings and having a record of two losses and one "no decision".[14] He returned to Atlanta on June 18, 2012, and made 16 appearances in relief, from June 18, 2012 through July 25, 2012.

As a Starter[edit]

Medlen got his first start of the 2012 season, on July 31, 2012, against the Miami Marlins, allowing 4 hits and 1 earned run and recording the Win in a 7-1 game.[15] After an August 5 “no decision” against the Houston Astros (which the Braves won by a 6-1 score), Medlen won five consecutive games in dominating style. On August 11, 2012, in a 9-3 win against the Mets at Citi Field, Medlen pitched 6.1 innings, allowing 5 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 7.[16] Medlen recorded his first complete game shut-out on August 16, 2012, with a 6-0 victory over the San Diego Padres, in which allowed 5 hits and struck out 6, allowing no walks.[17] Perhaps the most important win of Medlen’s professional career came on August 22, at Washington, with the Braves ending a four-game losing streak that had included two games against the Division-leading Nationals. Medlen pitched 7 innings, allowing 7 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 7. The win allowed the Braves to remain six games behind the Nationals.[18] With the win over the Nationals, Medlen also broke a franchise record with the Braves winning the 16th consecutive game that Medlen had started. The previous record of 15 consecutive wins had been set by John Smoltz, in 1996.[19] Medlen’s fourth win in the month of August 2012 came at San Diego, on August 28, with Medlen pitching 8 shut-out innings. Medlen allowed 5 singles, but picked off two of these runners, and no runner moved beyond first base. He struck out 9 Padres, and allowed no walks. Once again, the win by Medlen allowed the Braves to avoid being swept in a three-game series.[20] With this game, Medlen extended his streak of scoreless innings to 28-1/3.

On September 3, 2012, Medlen faced the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field, and got the win in dominant fashion. Medlen pitched a complete game, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out a career-best 12 batters. He threw 111 pitches, with 88 of them being strikes.[21] Medlen's streak of consecutive scoreless innings came to an end (at 34-2/3 innings) in the 7th inning when Carlos Gonzalez scored on an error by Paul Janish. This was the longest streak of consecutive scoreless innings for a Braves pitcher since Greg Maddux in 2000.[22] On September 8, 2012, Medlen faced the New York Mets at Citi Field, and recorded his 8th win of the season. Medlen had completed 6 innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 earned runs, when the game was delayed because of rain. Medlen did not return after the 75-minute delay, but got credit for the win in the 11-3 victory for the Braves.[23] When he allowed an earned run in the 4th inning, his streak of consecutive innings without an earned run ended at 40-1/3 innings. This streak had started at Citi Field on August 11. His streak of innings without allowing a home run ended at 53 innings, when Cedeno hit a home run in the 5th innings.[24] On September 14, 2012, Medlen got the start against the first-place Washington National, at Turner Field, and pitched 7.0 innings, leaving with the score tied at 1-1. In his 7 innings, Medlen allowed 5 hits and 1 walk, while recording 13 strike-outs, a career high. The Braves went on to win the game 2-1, with a run in the bottom of the ninth, winning their 20th consecutive game that Medlen had started. This 20 game streak was a franchise record for the Braves and tied a major record set by the New York Yankees and Roger Clemens in 2001.[25] Medlen had 8 called third strikes in the game, the most of any major league pitcher in 2012 and the most for any Braves pitcher since Greg Maddux in 2000.[26] On September 19, 2012, in Atlanta, Medlen pitched 8 scoreless innings, in a game that Atlanta won, 3-0. Medlen allowed 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 6 Marlins. In the 1st and 5th innings, Marlin runners reached third base with only one out, but a strike-out followed by a ground-out and a pop-out followed by a grounder preserved the scorelsss game for Medlen.[27] With this win, the Braves had won 21 consecutive games started by Medlen, the most in major league baseball since the Yankees won 22 consecutive games started by Whitey Ford from 1950 through 1953, a span interrupted by his service during the Korean War.[28] On Sep 30, 2012, Medlen led the Braves to their 23rd consecutive victory in games that he started, as they beat the Mets, 6-2. Medlen pitched 6 Innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 walk and 1 unearned run, while striking out 4.[29] This established a new major league record in that category, according to mlb.com.

Medlen started against the St. Louis Cardinals in the MLB's first ever single-game wild card playoff.

Honors[edit]

On September 4, 2012, Medlen was named National League "Pitcher of the Month" for August 2012. In an article discussing the award, Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer David O'Brien pointed out that many commentators have been comparing Kris Medlen to the Braves' legendary pitcher, Greg Maddux.[30] Medlen "repeated" as National League "Pitcher of the Month" for September, becoming the first Braves pitcher to win this back-to-back since Greg Maddux, in June and July 2001.[31]

Additional Statistics[edit]

Medlen has a record of 15 wins and 1 loss over his past 29 starts.[32] Over his 12 starts in 2012, since moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation, he was 9-0, with a 0.97 ERA.[31]

2013 season[edit]

On June 8, 2013, Medlen hit his first career home run. In 2013, he went 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA in 32 games (31 starts).

2014 season[edit]

On March 9, 2014, Medlen left a Spring Training game due to a sore right elbow. The following day, he had MRIs which tested positive that there was ligament damage in the elbow. Trying to avoid surgery, he sought a second opinion with Dr. James Andrews. However, Dr. Andrews looked at Medlen's test results, and could only confirm Medlen's worst fears; Medlen will need a second Tommy John surgery, and as a result, Medlen will miss the entire 2014 season.[33]

Pitching style[edit]

Medlen mostly throws four pitches. He leads with a two-seam fastball in the 89–92 mph range, and he also has a four-seam fastball in that range. His off-speed pitches are a curveball (77–80) and changeup (80–83), which are used primarily against right-handers and left-handers, respectively. Lastly, Medlen throws a handful of sliders.[34]

Medlen's highly effective changeup has a career whiff rate of 44%, among the highest rates for starting pitchers in the big leagues.[35] Hitters in the 2012 season hit only .098 against the pitch.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "California Community College Baseball Coaches Association". Cccbca.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ "California Community College Baseball Coaches Association". Cccbca.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "California Community College Baseball Coaches Association". Cccbca.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Scout.com: Kris Medlen Profile". Braves.scout.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Kris Medlen Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Kris Medlen » Game Logs » 2008 » Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Kris Medlen Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights | MiLB.com Stats | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Milb.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Medlen's Majors debut ends with loss". Atlanta.braves.mlb.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ 4:10 PM ET, May 31, 2009Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona  (May 31, 2009). "Atlanta Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - Box Score - May 31, 2009 - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Yahoo Sports, Braves outlast Pirates in 15, 7-6". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Yahoo Sports Game Log for Kris Medlen - 2009". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ 4:45 pm September 24, 2011, by David O'Brien (September 24, 2011). "Medlen activated from DL; Alex Gonzalez update". Blogs.ajc.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Kris Medlen at Minor League Central". Minorleaguecentral.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Miami at Atlanta | July 31, 2012 | Major League Baseball | Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ AP - Sports (August 11, 2012). "Braves chase Santana early in 9-3 rout of Mets - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ By PAUL NEWBERRY (AP Sports Writer) August 16, 2012 9:53 PM (August 16, 2012). "Jones homers twice, Braves win 6-0 behind Medlen - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Medlen pitches Braves to 5-1 win over Nationals - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. August 23, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  19. ^ McKinney, Josh (August 23, 2012). "Atlanta Braves Win 16th Straight Kris Medlen Start: A Fan’s Take - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  20. ^ "MLB - Atlanta Braves/San Diego Padres Box Score Tuesday August 28, 2012 - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves - Recap - September 03, 2012 - ESPN". Scores.espn.go.com. September 3, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  22. ^ AP - Sports (September 3, 2012). "Medlen strikes out 12, Braves beat Rockies, 6-1 - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  23. ^ "MLB - Atlanta Braves/New York Mets Box Score Saturday September 8, 2012 - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  24. ^ AP - Sports (September 8, 2012). "Medlen, McCann and Braves storm past Mets 11-3 - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  25. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/news/throwing-error-9th-sends-braves-023712815--mlb.html
  26. ^ 4:17 pm September 15, 2012, by David O'Brien (September 15, 2012). "Braves’ Medlen draws heavyweight comparison | Atlanta Braves". Blogs.ajc.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  27. ^ "MLB - Atlanta Braves/Miami Marlins Box Score Wednesday September 19, 2012 - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins - Recap - September 19, 2012 - ESPN". Scores.espn.go.com. September 19, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  29. ^ "MLB - New York Mets/Atlanta Braves Box Score Sunday September 30, 2012 - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  30. ^ 4:51 pm September 4, 2012, by Carroll Rogers (September 4, 2012). "Medlen wins NL pitcher of the month". Blogs.ajc.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  31. ^ a b 6:16 pm October 2, 2012, by David O'Brien (October 2, 2012). "Braves’ Medlen repeats as NL Pitcher of the Month | Atlanta Braves". Blogs.ajc.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  32. ^ Scott Miller. "Weekend Buzz: Medlen also had Tommy John but the starter excels while Strasburg sits - MLB". CBSSports.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  33. ^ http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/03/17/kris-medlen-to-have-tommy-john-surgery-tuesday-brandon-beachy-going-for-second-opinion/ Date=Mar 17, 2014. Accessdate=Mar 17, 2014,
  34. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Kris Medlen". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  35. ^ "PitchFX Leaderboards". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  36. ^ "PitchFX Leaderboards". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 

External links[edit]