ST. LOUIS - APRIL 27: Relief pitcher Kris Medlen #54 of the Atlanta Braves throws against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 27, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Braves 5-4. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Losers of seven-straight games, the Braves made a pretty substantial roster move on Tuesday.
There had been rumors of Kris Medlen possibly returning to Triple-A Gwinnett in order to get ready for a move back to the starting rotation. Those rumors were confirmed on Tuesday afternoon as the Braves announced that Medlen would be heading down, and that Jose Constanza would take his place on the roster.
Constanza is in the starting lineup tonight, batting ninth and playing left field.
The news of Medlen heading to Gwinnett only makes sense. He will likely need two or three starts to help prepare for his transition to the starting rotation -- he was a starter in 2010 before eventually undergoing Tommy John Surgery -- and will likely replace either Mike Minor or Randall Delgado once he feels his arm is ready.
Constanza has been a favorite of manager Fredi Gonzalez since his hot stretch last season and will immediately see playing time with the offense in a funk. It will be interesting to see if Gonzalez's strategy of batting the pitcher eighth and the speedy outfielder ninth, especially given Michael Bourn's stellar play this season at the leadoff spot. Constanza struggled in a brief stint with the Braves earlier this season in April.
It would seem like another roster move would be made in the next few hours to help fill the void left by Medlen in the bullpen. David Ross' groin continues to bother him and he may be destined for the disabled list. A reliever such as Cory Gearrin could be called up to Atlanta in the near future.
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