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With Medlen, Braves show Nats a better way


08:14 AM ET 09.10 | The parallels quickly end when comparing Kris Medlen to Stephen Strasburg. Two key differences: Medlen never was a headline-inducing phenom (he was a 10th-round pick in 2006) and ... he's still pitching. Um, make that still pitching despite undergoing Tommy John ligament transfer surgery within two weeks of Strasburg's in 2010. Actually, "pitching" is underplaying it. What Medlen is doing is absolutely dominating. ... Medlen now is 7-0 with a 0.81 ERA in eight starts since moving from the bullpen this year. Ah, the bullpen. It's how the Braves slowly brought him back from surgery, and it will be the blueprint everyone points to if the Nats' season implodes post-Strasburg (lets it make clear, that's a very big "if").

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Stephen Strasburg, Getty Images Stephen Strasburg, Getty Images
September 10, 2012  08:15 AM ET

I had a terrible nightmare last night................

September 10, 2012  08:59 AM ET

Good Morning Mick, this guy is going to be some pitcher!!!

Comment #3 has been removed
September 10, 2012  11:27 AM ET

First Dickey, now this guy. Are these guys really great pitchers, or is the hitting in the NL crap this year?

September 10, 2012  11:58 AM ET

either way,, the nationals should had pitch for the right call, right now is just too late to switch gears,,,,,

September 10, 2012  11:59 AM ET

MEDLEN would likely be trade to the yanks in the 2013 season,,,, why?? just because the yankees are in demand on their rotation,,,

September 10, 2012  12:01 PM ET

strasburg would continue his rehab in every year, start strong and slowly step out of the field towards the bench,,,,

September 10, 2012  02:50 PM ET

First Dickey, now this guy. Are these guys really great pitchers, or is the hitting in the NL crap this year?

I think Dickey found something that lets him control his knuckle ball and thus rely on it. Medlen is a good looking young pitcher coming off surgery; I suspect he is actually good, too.

But Pujols and Fielder left the league., Howard, Utley, Votto, Werth, and Kemp have been injured for long stretches. Melky left the league, too, via a different route. Hitting may be down a bit as well.

Comment #9 has been removed
September 10, 2012  08:30 PM ET

Ohfergawrshsakes--I realize the blogosphere is for commentary, and lining up "I told you so's" is cheap and easy entertainment. But c'mon man! Be logical.

- The Nats, who have never had a winning season, would have gotten a lot of grief about how overconfident they were if they had held back SS for the postseason early this year.
- The Nats NEEDED dominant pitching a lot more early this year, when it seemed like over half the team was injured. Sure, they could have tossed John Lannan out there early, but that would have led to significantly fewer wins in Apr-May. Barring injury, Lannan is not a
post-season starter.
- The Nats have a better than a .600 record when SS does NOT start (when Lannan is not the replacement)
- By the "the Nats are crippled/DOOMED without SS" logic, the Cardinals should have packed it in after Wainwright went down last year. Oh wait...they won it all anyway.
- If one follows metrics like ERA or WHIP, SS is at best their #3 starter right now. And he's been getting increasingly if one did save his "last 30 innings" for the postseason, check out his last few starts for some of the results one could expect.
- This article does not advocate pushing SS past the post-TJ innings limit (advocating "a better way"--but can you *imagine* the reaction of the blogosphere if the Nats had put SS in the bullpen (where he's never been, and would have to warm up/pitch in a completely unfamiliar
pattern) at the beginning of the year to "save him for the postseason"?
So, great, line up them "I told you so's." But unless you can show me where you (or someone else for that matter) was saying back in Apr-May that the Nats should be shutting down SS early to save him for their World Series run AND are willing to form a logical argument that they would still be in the position they are now if they had, I'll just roll my eyes.


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