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Kris Medlen Struggles In First Start With Gwinnett Braves

Kris Medlen is preparing to return to the starting rotation with the Atlanta Braves. The club decided to put him in the bullpen to begin the season due to his Tommy John Surgery in the summer of 2010, but they have announced their intentions to make him a starter once agin. Medlen was sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett to build up his arm strength, and is expected to make three or four starts to get accustomed to the workload of 90 or 100 pitches once again.

Medlen's first start with the Gwinnett Braves was not great. He was on a pitch count of 65 pitches (he threw 66) and lasted just 2.1 innings against the Charlotte Knights. Medlen allowed four runs to score on five hits and two walks. He struck out four, which is a very encouraging sign.

The poor numbers aren't a great sign, but it's important to remember that Medlen is going to take a while to get used to making starts. He will need to start incorporating his curveball a bit more to his trusty fastball-changeup combination in order for him to be successful. And seeing as Medlen hasn't thrown more than 40 pitches in any game this season you can understand why he was a bit rusty going for 66 pitches.

Be sure to check back with the SB Nation Atlanta StoryStream for continued updates on Medlen's return to Atlanta.

For more on the Braves be sure to check out Talking Chop.

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