Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez seemed pleased after watching Medlen allow a run while pitching the first two innings of Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Nationals. That lone run came courtesy of the opposite-field home run that Jayson Werth snuck over the right-field wall to begin the second inning.
"Medlen was outstanding, he really was," Gonzalez said. "He threw some good changeups to some left-handed hitters, and some fastballs. That was nice to see."
Showing the ability to throw his curveball for strikes, Medlen recorded a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless first inning. Werth's homer and Bryce Harper's second-inning single served as the only blemishes during his two-inning stint.
"I had the anxious nerves before the game," Medlen said. "It was just like a regular-season start for me. I was really amped up and really ready to go."
Medlen posted a 3.86 ERA and saw the Braves go 13-1 in the 14 starts he made before undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery in August 2010. Still, it appears he will begin this season as a middle reliever, someone who could lessen the strain placed on top setup men Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty.
"He's an upper-tier swing guy," Gonzalez said. "He could be your middle-of-the-rotation type of starter, and he can help you out there in those middle innings. He can do a lot of different stuff."