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Andrelton Simmons, Kris Medlen Could See Expanded Roles Soon

With the Atlanta Braves experiencing their biggest slump in years, the team is forced to consider making drastic adjustments to the lineup in order to salvage some of these losses. That could mean Andrelton Simmons becoming the starting shortstop and Kris Medlen making the switch from reliever to starting pitcher, according to Braves blogger Mark Bowman.

Tyler Pastornicky's limitations at shortstop have been a concern all season for Atlanta, and even though he isn't necessarily the source of the team's current woes, he could bare the brunt of the subsequent moves to get out of the funk.

This, from Bowman:

In fact, Pastornicky's defensive limitations have been a concern since Simmons came to Spring Training and showed why many scouts had labeled him the best defensive shortstop at the Minor League level last year.

Some members of the Braves organization lobbied for Simmons make the jump from the Class A level to begin this year as Atlanta's starting shortstop. But it was decided that he needed some more time at the Minor League level to strengthen his once-questioned offensive skills.

To get Medlen in the rotation, the Braves would probably need to send him to Triple-A Gwinnett to make two or three starts. This could take weeks and even weaken the bullpen for some time, but the Braves would be hoping for Medlen to provide the dependability lacking in Mike Minor and Randall Delgado lately.

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop. Also be sure to check out Baseball Nation for additional news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.