via Miami Herald
Medlen has second Tommy John surgery, will try to beat odds
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla — LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen faces another rehabilitation period of at least 12 months after having Tommy John elbow surgery Tuesday for the second time in four years. And frankly, the odds he’ll pitch again at peak level are not very good.
Medlen, 28, had the ulnar-collateral ligament reconstruction procedure, commonly referred to as Tommy John surgery, done for the second time in 41 months by Dr. James Andrews, who also did his August 2010 surgery.
“He had the surgery, and everything went well,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Wednesday after getting an update from a team trainer.
Medlen missed most of the 2011 season for a 13-month rehab following that procedure, and the average recovery period has been longer for most of the relatively few pitchers who had the surgery a second time.
The Braves now have two pitchers – Medlen and reliever Jonny Venters – recovering from their second Tommy John surgeries, and could have one more if Brandon Beachy decides to have the surgery after getting another opinion from a Los Angeles specialist this week.
Beachy has pitched in only five regular-season games since having his first Tommy John surgery 21 months ago and also had an arthroscopic procedure in September to remove a bone chip. He left his March 10 start after two innings with what he thought was only biceps tightness, but which tests revealed to be more ligament damage.
Hale’s dreams become reality with hometown Braves
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — As David Hale totaled 128 innings while pursuing an Operations Research and Financial Engineering degree from Princeton University, his dream of pitching at the Major League level was clouded by analytical thoughts that he would more realistically end up in the financial world.
Fortunately, that did not prevent Hale from pursuing his dream, which proved to be as satisfying as he could have envisioned after his hometown Braves gave him an unexpected mid-September promotion to the Major League level last year.
When Hale made his big league debut in a Sept. 13 start against the Padres, he found himself standing on the same mound that his childhood idols John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine had once inhabited. In the stands were many of the same friends and family members who had often sat alongside him in these same Turner Field stands.
But instead allowing the nerves to overwhelm him, Hale fed off the emotions as he notched nine strikeouts over the five scoreless innings he tossed just 20 minutes south of his childhood home in Marietta, Ga.
“[The nerves] get the adrenaline going and it gets you focused more than anything,” Hale said. “There’s a healthy and an unhealthy amount of it. But it makes me focus more.”
Ervin Santana Worth the Potential Price
Dan Szymborski, the fine baseball analyst of ZiPS projection system fame, wrote a nice article for espn.com claiming that Ervin Santana’s one-year, $14.1 million signing could cost the Braves $33 million in value, when you consider what the Braves are paying Santana and the typical win value of the 26th draft pick the Braves lose while the Braves would have that player under their control, pre-free agency.
Szymborski does make the point that the 26th pick could end up being as valuable as Craig Hansen or, conversely, could end up being as valuable as Alan Trammell or Dan Plesac. The argument is that the Braves may very well be paying a hefty price for Santana, a lot more hefty than the one year at $14.1 million, since they are losing a first-round pick with significant win-value potential.
I agree, to a point. But flags fly forever. When you are a contender and as close to a World Series as the Braves feel they are, you have to take some risks.
Tags: Atlanta Braves