Medlen To Undergo Tommy John; Beachy To Receive 2nd Opinion

MARCH 17: Medlen will undergo the second Tommy John surgery of his career tomorrow, tweets Mark Bowman of Meanwhile, Beachy is headed to Los Angeles for further evaluation after also being seen today by Dr. James Andrews.

Comments from GM Frank Wren certainly made it sound as if Beachy could be headed in the same direction, even if he is holding out hope, as Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports“I think it’s natural for guys to want to exhaust every possibility before they ultimately make that decision that I’m going to have surgery,” Wren said. “Sometimes these decisions aren’t black and white. There’s enough gray that they want just another set of eyes and another impression on what’s being seen.” The possibility of a second Tommy John procedure for Beachy was reported several days ago.

Looking ahead, the Braves could be in a tough spot next fall, when Medlen will qualify for his final trip through arbitration. He avoided arbitration this year by agreeing to a $5.8MM salary, and the resulting high salary floor could make it tough for Atlanta to tender him a contract for 2015. Medlen will not even be nine months into the recovery process at the point at which tender decisions are due. Teams have guaranteed money under similar circumstances — indeed, the Braves promised Gavin Floyd $4MM to join the club for 2014 — but the fact that this is Medlen's second UCL replacement certainly increases the risk.  

MARCH 12: Medlen told reporters, including's Mark Bowman (Twitter link), that he has spent the past two days preparing himself for a second Tommy John surgery. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says there is a "high likelihood" that Medlen will need Tommy John. O'Brien relays that Medlen was "angry and in denial" after injuring his arm on Sunday; he threw two more pitches before exiting the game (Twitter links).

MARCH 11: Braves right-hander Kris Medlen received his MRI results Tuesday and consulted with team doctors before GM Frank Wren addressed the media. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was on-hand as Wren revealed to the public that the MRI showed "some involvement in the ligament." However, MRIs on patients that have already undergone Tommy John surgery are difficult to read, and Medlen will therefore undergo further tests and meet with Dr. James Andrews to get another opinion before determining if surgery is required.

While Wren wouldn't comment on specific names, he admitted that the team is exploring the starting pitching market for additional help. O'Brien reports that the Braves have definitely reached out to Ervin Santana as one possibility. Wren called the Braves' mounting pitching injuries "worrisome," though the team believes Brandon Beachy's biceps tightness to be routine for players who have undergone elbow surgeries in the past (per O'Brien's Twitter).

Santana threw a two-inning simulated game yesterday and may wait a day or two before signing, Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported last night. In that report, he added that financial concern is the main deterrent for the Braves, whose primary competition is the Orioles and Blue Jays. Baltimore has offered a one-year, $13MM deal plus incentives, while Toronto is offering one year and $14MM without incentives. The Twins have offered a three-year deal reported to be in the $30-33MM range, but Santana's preference is a one-year deal, as he could essentially guarantee himself roughly that amount over two years by signing for roughly $14MM for this season and getting a qualifying offer next offseason.

The potential loss of Medlen would be a devastating blow for a Braves rotation that already lost Tim Hudson to free agency and could be without Mike Minor for the early portion of April. Atlanta was projected to have a rotation of Medlen, Minor, Beachy, Julio Teheran and Alex Wood to open the season, with Gavin Floyd eventually slotting in once recovered from Tommy John surgery. Now, they may have to turn to Freddy Garcia, David Hale and other internal candidates, which would be less than ideal for a team expecting to contend in 2014.

89 Responses to Medlen To Undergo Tommy John; Beachy To Receive 2nd Opinion Leave a Reply

  1. dfete 1 year ago

    The Braves have probably known this for 2 days.

    They’re buying time so they don’t look desperate for new pitching

  2. bravo_84 1 year ago

    “Involvement in the ligament” means “We’re not about to blow what little speck of negotiating leverage we have left”.

    I absolutely hate it too, because Meds is a class act.

    • Jeff 1 year ago

      hopefully Beachy’s alright- if it’s just Meds, I think the Braves can trade water- if Beachy’s done too, they’re in trouble. Gavin Floyd may end up being huge this year.

      • Seamaholic 1 year ago

        Except Gavin Floyd is awful. If they lose more than one guy here, they’re probably better off letting the kids pitch and hope for next year.

        • Steve Adams 1 year ago

          You have a very liberal application of the term “awful.”

          Gavin Floyd posted a 108 ERA+ from 2008-12 and was worth an average of 3.2 fWAR and 3.3 rWAR per season in that time.

          The venom I’ve seen spewed from Braves fans in regard to that signing is odd.

          • Seamaholic 1 year ago

            32 year old coming off major surgery = good luck

          • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

            And to think they could have used that 4 MM to buy a useful piece like Scott Downs, Jose Veras or Matt Lindstrom….. that really would have helped the rotation.

          • Spit Ball 1 year ago

            34 year old Chris Carpenter says it can be done.

          • Red_Line_9 1 year ago

            Some of the wrap on Floyd has been in how he was roughed up. Not talking on the season, but in particular games. He would cruise through 3 and hang a 5-6 spot on the board in the 4th. He’d put the Sox out of it

        • erg 1 year ago

          awful is a bit harsh, he’s been a pretty decent arm, but yea he isn’t the kind of pitcher that could save a rotation… even if he wasn’t coming off of tj.

      • bravo_84 1 year ago

        Frankly Gavin Floyd just annoys me now because we need that money to go toward Santana. If Beachy is out (and let me remind everyone that tightness was “routine” last year too) then we have to have someone in April & May to even give us a shot at being relevent in June when Floyd will be available.

    • erg 1 year ago

      Yea. Meds is one of my favorite pitchers to watch. What a rollercoaster
      offseason. First, it was a completely quiet offseason where literally
      nothing happened, or looked like it would happen, then bam all of a sudden
      everyone gets an extension and i’m jumping for joy because we were
      actually going to keep the core together. now, look at this team. we
      could be without 3 of our 5 starters to start the yr and medlen could very well
      be finished as a starter completely. can’t imagine they’ll put that
      little guy back in the rotation after two tj’s. geez, we’ve gone
      from being excited about defending our division championship to not even
      knowing where we’re going to get innings.

  3. Natsfan89 1 year ago

    I wonder if Dr. James Andrews knows about the dread his name inspires in fans…

    • bravo_84 1 year ago

      The three nastiest words in baseball.

      • Natsfan89 1 year ago

        Rumor has it that of you say his name into the mirror three times he shows up and gives you an MRI.

        • Well my right arm has been acting up so maybe I should try this. I’ll let you know how it works out.

      • 0vercast 1 year ago

        “Performance enhancing drugs” has the Doc in a distant second.

        • bravo_84 1 year ago

          Good call. If we’re getting picky though “Commissioner Bud Selig” could push him down to third…

        • inkstainedscribe 1 year ago

          Or, ‘failed drug test.’

          • bravo_84 1 year ago

            TJ surgery takes longer than a 50 game suspension so I’d say this one falls just a hair lower on the list.

      • rundmc1981 1 year ago

        True, very ominous, but thanks to this procedure (hat tip to the late first doctor to perform it, Dr. Frank Jobe), pitchers, including many in ATL, wouldn’t have a career after these injuries. It stinks for those that have to have it multiple times (Venters), but the fact that they’re ever able to pitch again with similar velocity and doing it nearly pain-free is remarkable in this day and age.

      • itstheduke 1 year ago

        Not as nasty as this trio: “career ending injury”

    • Teufelshunde4 1 year ago

      I bet players wives have a different view. More like get my baby healthy and happy doc andrews.

    • itstheduke 1 year ago

      Not as dreadful as the alternative phrase: “career-ending injury”

  4. UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

    As Braves pitching injuries continue to pile up it’s beginning to look like Ervin Santana may yet receive that elusive 4 year $50MM deal or something close to it.

    • Ron Loreski 1 year ago

      If he gets more than 2 years, I’ll be shocked.

      • Steve Adams 1 year ago

        He’s got more than two from the Twins if he wants it (albeit at a lower annual value). He wants a one-year deal, which is likely what he ends up signing.

    • Not a chance. Need a stop gap for 2 months, so lets spend $50m and commit 4 years? As a Jay’s fan, I realy hope he signs elsewhere. This holding everyone ransom when he has 2 legit offers on the table (3 if you include the Twins) is absolutely rediculous.

      • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

        Who’s he holding ransom? Teams are free to move on. All he’s trying to do is get the best deal he can there is nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.

        • Have you ever heard of the concept of burning bridges?

          • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

            Again since when is trying to get the best deal you can “burning bridges”?

          • Since you keep all these teams waiting by saying you will sign by Saturday at 4pm, then ooops, make that Sunday morning, then ooops, make that a few more days.
            I wouldn’t expect a Yankee fan to understand it, but there is something called your word that people hold you too. When you repeatedly go back on it after negotiating in good faith that causes some hard feelings, thus the concept of burning bridges.
            Get it?

          • Teufelshunde4 1 year ago

            Teams know the QA has squeezed some FA. Im sure teams leave players hanging all the time. Santana might be getting some leverage now with injuries piling up. He would be fool not to extract every dollar from who ever signs him. Teams just a week ago were trying to leverage him.

          • stl_cards16 1 year ago

            So you’re saying you believe every rumor that pops up on MLBTR is fact? Teams that are involved know what he’s looking for and his line of thinking. Just because “someone with knowledge of the situation” tells a reporter he’s going to make a choice Saturday or Sunday, doesn’t make it a fact.

  5. Nathan Justice 1 year ago

    Braves aren’t gonna pay for Ervin. No way. No how.

    • rundmc1981 1 year ago

      Could Ervin take a more incentive-laden deal with ATL, knowing he’ll have a better def and better shot at contending than BAL/MIN? Santana wouldn’t be the first (or last) to showcase his stuff in ATL for a nice contract later on. Most recent example being the Vazquez resurrection project care of CWS.

      • inkstainedscribe 1 year ago

        It’s unlikely, but the Braves could sign Ervin for one year at $14MM and if Beachy, Minor, and Floyd are sound, flip him at the deadline.

        • NL_East_Rivalry 1 year ago

          I don’t care either way because I believe they can win without him, but I wouldn’t be against using some of the money for next year on signing him for one year.

        • rundmc1981 1 year ago

          My proposal wouldn’t be $14MM, which means that we wouldn’t land him. Everyone is assuming that ATL is desperate, which we’re not with the depth we have, and the fact that Minor/Beachy won’t be gone long-term. My proposal to Ervin would be exploratory and incentive-laden more around $10-11MM with incentives taking him to about $14MM. ATL can do that, from what Wren has said in the past about having funds available during the season. Whether they do that or not is the question, knowing that there will be other things to pop up during the season that will need financial considerations as we approach the trade deadline.

          If Ervin isn’t interested and thinks he can do better financially on less incentives and more guaranteed money, then he will be going elsewhere. But, there’s not a better environment or team defense or pitching support available (def not in BAL, MIN, TOR, with all due respect).

          • bravo_84 1 year ago

            Change that from incentives to deferrals and I could get on board with this line of thinking pretty quick.

    • Seamaholic 1 year ago

      Ervin Santana had a better ERA+ than any Braves starter last year, including the injured ones. He’d be an improvement even if they didn’t have the recent problems. The only reason why they wouldn’t sign him is that they don’t have the money.

    • bravo_84 1 year ago

      Liberty Media is cheap, but an empty stadium in July and August would be pretty expensive too.

      • paqza 1 year ago

        The Braves can’t fill their stadium when they make it to the playoffs. That Cobb County stadium should help. I’m amazed that Turner lasted less than 20 years as their home, though.

        • ATown 1 year ago

          Well to be fair, Turner Field was meant to be filled for a big event… like you know… the Olympics. But people forget that. It was never meant to be a long term baseball stadium.

    • erg 1 year ago

      They’ve always shelled out money when they had to. They made sure they landed Lowe and Kawakami when they were in a similar situation a few years ago when injuries destroyed the rotation and they didn’t know where they were going to get innings. They gave Uggla his big extension after spending years (unsuccessfully) trying to land a RH’d power hitter. I could definitely see them paying up and it will, of course, turn into a terrible contract.

    • If they want to contend they will

    • Hills of Glenallen 1 year ago

      How does it feel to be so wrong?

      • Nathan Justice 1 year ago

        You have to be wrong once in your life.

  6. RetortForm 1 year ago

    Santana should have taken that Twins offer. He’d get lit up in that AL east with all those bandboxes (only The Trop does favors for flyball pitchers) and won’t be receiving a QO next year. He’d be lucky to touch that 33 Mil range.

    Pitching in Target, Comerica and (of course) Kaufmann for many of his starts was a big key to that good era last year. Now that the mostly Pitching friendly ballparks of the NL east is on the table he darn well better take it, even if it’s for less than the QO. It’s probably his only hope to get a multiyear deal next year.

    • Jun Kim 1 year ago

      The guy is a big risk taker. If he rather go to the fearsome A.L East and sign a 1 year deal than go to Minnesota for 3 years guaranteed deal and in a division that is no where near the level of A.L East I say he is pretty confident and determined that he will succeed in the A.L East, regain his value, and get the contract he is looking for.

      • If he signs for 14 million and is offered the QO next year that’ll be around what the twins offer was considering the QO will likely be 15 million or above. It’s not as big a risk as people think.

        • Jun Kim 1 year ago

          but it’s 3 years guaranteed money.

          • He might not want to play for the Twins and their offer isn’t really for more than what he’ll probably make going year to year unless he has a serious drop off in 2014.

          • Jun Kim 1 year ago

            You are stating the facts but don’t you think it’s better for Santa who has high percentage in giving up home runs to play with the Twins a division that is no where near A.L East with three years of guaranteed money than go to the A.L East division with just 1 year deal with a risk of struggling adjust the division and hurt his value by the process?

          • No because if I were him I wouldn’t want to play for the Twins at that price over the Jays, Orioles, or Braves. I like where the Twins are going, but I wouldn’t want to commit 3 years for 33 million to play for that team.

            If he takes 1/14 million, that’s 19 million over two years that he’s leaving on the table. Unless he’s atrocious/completely falls apart, he’s still going to be looking at a 5-6 million deal as his floor for 2015. The Twins’ deal is not a no brainer.

        • RetortForm 1 year ago

          It’s a huge risk, since pitchers with 5.5 ERAs don’t get QOs. And yes, he’s going to probably wind up with an era north of 5. The only major difference in last year for Santana from 2012? Almost a full homer less per 9. That will go back up when he pitches in those homer happy parks. His K rate, Walk rate and hits per 9 have been pretty much the same through out his career. Any time his HR/9 gets above 1.4 his ERA balloons. I’m sure that’s the same for most pitchers who don’t have walk rates under 1/9.

  7. Kent Kimes 1 year ago

    Your 2014 Opening Day Starter: Freddy Garcia. Bet on it.

  8. inkstainedscribe 1 year ago

    Chris Capuano’s out there (*ducks*)

  9. Nathan Justice 1 year ago

    What’s Terrell Wade doing now?

  10. Lucas Kschischang 1 year ago

    Now Braves fans can get a taste of what it’s been like to be a Blue Jays fan over the past 2 years.

    • erg 1 year ago

      this already happend to us in ’11 and ’08 and for the past two decades we’ve been getting our hearts ripped out on an annual basis in october. this isn’t new, its just happening earlier than it usually does.

      • aRunning_Maniac 1 year ago

        It happened last year as well. Hudson, Heyward, Pena, Pastornicky, C. Martinez, EOF, Venters, Walden, and Gattis all were on the DL at one point or another. In fact, many of those were season-ending injuries.

        • erg 1 year ago

          yea seems like this happens every year, doesnt it? i’d add mccann, too. he missed about a month at the beginning of the season because of surgery.

    • bravo_84 1 year ago

      Venters, O’Flaherty, Hudson, Beachy, two fluke DL trips for Heyward, and the life and times of Dan Uggla are more than enough for this fanbase. I believe our penance has been paid!!!

  11. Derpy 1 year ago

    I can’t help but think if things would be different if he had pulled himself from the game as soon as his elbow began to have a problem. Did those last two pitches contribute to the injury? They sure didn’t help.

    • Ron Loreski 1 year ago

      I don’t think those 2 pitches made a difference. Once it started hurting, he was done for.

    • stl_cards16 1 year ago

      Since he has already had TJ surgery once, the rest and rehab isn’t really an option. Since it is not the natural ligament, there’s no blood flow so the ligament would not heal itself. Once the damage was done, there was no option but surgery. Sad to see and I hope he bounces back.

    • Gland1 1 year ago

      Do you think he was fine before the last two pitches?

  12. flyerzfan12 1 year ago

    From a Phillies fan, here’s to a speedy and full recovery to an extremely talented young rival pitcher.

    • Jeff 1 year ago

      Come of think of it, why didn’t Wren try to coax Halladay out of retirement?

      Would have been worth a chance.

      • flyerzfan12 1 year ago

        I’m not sure if your comment was serious or not but Halladay is done. After watching him pitch the past 2 years, he made the right (albeit surprising) decision to retire. Spending time with his family and being a guest instructor at Phillies camp seems to suit him well. He’ll make a great coach or manager one day.

  13. orangeoctober 1 year ago

    always unfortunate to see this happen to a player. i hope he fully recovers and gets back to where he was.

  14. Matt Talbert 1 year ago

    Minor and Beachy will be fine. We also have Teheran, Santana, Wood, Garcia, and anyone off the scrap heap if need be…plus Hale, Graham and others on the farm…I think we’ll be ok.

    • Seamaholic 1 year ago

      Beachy is most definitely not fine. He’s done for the year most likely.

  15. dfete 1 year ago

    This was obvious Sunday afternoon.

  16. CT 1 year ago

    I really feel for Medlen. To go through TJ once, recover, and return to pitch really well, and then have to do it all over again is really tough to swallow. Speedy recovery Meds.

    • TDKnies 1 year ago

      Really tough to swallow for both of them. Beachy barely even got the chance to be back at all before having to go back under the knife (I’m assuming the worst). One is lamenting missing out on being a great SP, and the other probably feels like his first surgery was a failure and an extraordinary waste of time (about one and a half years worth). I’m quite sad for these guys. :(

  17. erm016 1 year ago

    It was nice having you pitch for Atlanta Meds. But I’m pretty sure you’ve thrown your last pitch as a Brave.

  18. jfast27 1 year ago

    Livan Hernandez is available.

Leave a Reply