celliot's Blog


By celliot | View all Posts
Posted Monday, September 03, 2012 07:54 PM   4 comments

The Atlanta Braves Kris Medlen had approximately the same pitch count coming into this season as the Nationals Stephen Strasburg as both are back this year from Tommy John Surgery (approx. 170 innings).

The difference is the Braves brain trust recognized it's a long season and strategically placed Medlen in the bullpen to start the season.

The result, Strasburg has thrown 156 innings this season with one start left while Medlen has pitched 50 innings less and will be available for the playoffs! Its hard to argue with the Braves logic right now as the Braves are 7-0 SU and 7-0 ATS in Medlen starts this season!

The Braves knew the value they had in Medlen as the team had won his past 11 starts in a row coming into this season. Combine that with this years totals and the Braves have won 18 straight Medlen starts.

The Braves roll of the dice has paid off as Medlen would have otherwise found the rotation before Mike Minor and Randall Delgado to open the season. Kudos to the Braves coachs and managment, they hit the nail on the head with this move!

Chris Elliot is a professional handicapper for Covers Experts.

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_keyser_soze_ says:
9/4/2012 4:31:17 PM
Too bad these situations weren't anywhere NEAR the same - and really, other than two young pitchers coming off the same injury, there is NOTHING comparable about the two situations.

Strasburg was the top pick in the draft, and has always been a starter. The Nats didn't know how good they were going to be at the start of the year, and so having the phenom in the rotation to sell tickets was the wise thing to do. Helps to offset that monster contract he got, by actually having fans in the stands paying for tickets and food (and beer).

And then, when the Nats realized they were going to be in it - they could have put Stras in the bullpen - but that has disaster written all over it. Ask the Yankees regarding Joba or Phil Hughes how switching young arms back and forth works out for you.

Yes, it will be difficult for the Nats in the playoffs without Strasburg, but given they have Gio and Zimm in the rotation, all is not lost. And they are doing what is right for Strasburg AND the team LONG TERM.

Kudos to the Braves for being able to put a former 10th round pick making 490 thousand a year in the bullpen to start off the year. Smart move for them. But if he was earning big bucks and was a phenom like Strasburg, they would have done the same thing. Medlen has switched between the rotation and'pen every year in the bigs. This is nothing new. Strasburg? Um, no.

Otherwise, everything else you said was bang on.

T99 says:
9/4/2012 4:37:57 PM
The only thing I wonder about is the personalities involved here--- perhaps Straz would not have responded to the bullpen etc. Medlen seems a tad more mature ( at least to me) & that is no diss to Straz, but did Nolan Ryan ever pitch from there ? for all I know he may have, but such a comparison kind of highlights the point I'm trying to make without going into a bunch more 'maybes' and such.
celliot says:
9/4/2012 5:29:26 PM
Thanks for the feedback, both make good points.

If the Nats were truly concerned about filling the stands to start the season, why have Bryce Harper start in the minors?

As for doing what's right for the team and Strasburg in the long run, a 170 inning cap is a 170 inning cap whether you sit at the start of the season or the end of the season so I am having trouble following your logic there.

I'm sure the fans would come out to watch Strasburg work out of the pen to start the season and I'm also certain the fans would react to that more favorably then having the phenom parked on the bench in the middle of a playoff run.

Strasburg is a professional and I would expect him to put his ego aside for the better of the team.

Thanks again for the feedback guys, your comments are always welcome!

braves5795 says:
1/15/2013 12:46:18 PM
Braves: A professional organization, start at the top, mangers, coaches, and medical staff.
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User: celliot
Joined: May 2012
Location: United States
Team: Atlanta Braves

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