Medlen stretched out after latest start in Minors

Medlen stretched out after latest start in Minors

ATLANTA -- When the Braves sent Kris Medlen to the Minor Leagues last month with the intention of converting him from a reliever to a starter, manager Fredi Gonzalez said the right-hander would need at least three starts to stretch out.

In Pawtucket, R.I., on Tuesday, Medlen made his third start with Triple-A Gwinnett, and after throwing 97 pitches, he is stretched out. But whether Medlen will be inserted into the Braves' rotation remains to be seen.

"He's done great," Gonzalez said of Medlen on Tuesday afternoon. "Hopefully, he goes out and throws lights-out, and we'll see what we can do. We can bring him back as a starter or put him back in the 'pen."

Against Pawtucket, Medlen allowed three runs on six hits in six innings. He walked four batters and struck out four. In 13 1/3 innings with Gwinnett, Medlen has a 4.73 ERA with 12 strikeouts and six walks.

In Atlanta, left-hander Mike Minor made his best start of the season on Tuesday, shutting down the Yankees for 7 1/3 innings in a 6-4 loss. Should Medlen return to the Braves as a starter, he would likely replace Minor or right-hander Randall Delgado. After Tuesday's game, Gonzalez said that any decision about Medlen would come later.

"I haven't really checked," Gonzalez said. "Let's not take anything away from Mikey today, because he did a terrific job."