Braves' Medlen exits with injury
BRAVES PITCHER Kris Medlen left in the fourth inning with a strained forearm in yesterday's 8-2 loss to the New York Mets.
The Mets scored seven unearned runs in the eighth inning to break open a tie game. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in attendance with his family while on vacation.
While facing Matt Clark with two outs, Medlen threw an offspeed pitch, grabbed his right elbow and turned his back to home plate. He then removed himself from the game.
Medlen, picked to start on Opening Day, was examined by Mets physician Dr. Struan Coleman and diagnosed with a right forearm strain pending an evaluation back at the Braves' complex today.
Medlen was 15-12 last year with a 3.11 ERA in 197 innings for the NL East champions. The 28-year-old righthander had Tommy John surgery in 2010.
"Obviously, any time a pitcher walks off the mound and meets you at the foul line, you worry about that stuff," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But after everything kind of settled down, we're optimistic it's nothing really major."
Gonzalez said he talked to Medlen briefly during the pitching change and again inside the clubhouse afterward.
"He wasn't in good spirits. But after he got settled down a little bit and the trainers looked at him, I thought he was in better spirits," Gonzalez said.
Medlen did not speak with reporters but relayed a message that he will be available tomorrow in Orlando.
Braves catcher Evan Gattis said Medlen had good stuff through three innings.
"He was executing pitches, and the next thing you know - I don't know what he grabbed - but I knew it was his arm. It's never a good sign, never a good feeling, to be out there and see a pitcher walk off the mound like that," Gattis said. "On the last pitch, he just threw a yanked changeup - I've never seen that - and immediately there was a problem . . . He was throwing good pitches, and then it was just an out-of-the-blue kind of thing."
* The St. Louis Cardinals signed Cuban free-agent shortstop Aledmys Diaz to a major league contract and he'll report to spring training today. The Cardinals were among a number of teams, including the Yankees, who held private workouts for the righthanded hitting Diaz and the deal is believed to be for $15-20 million for 4 years. The team planned a news conference today.
The deal came a day after St. Louis signed third baseman and leadoff man Matt Carpenter to a 6-year, $52 million contract. During the offseason, the Cardinals committed $53 million over 4 years to sign free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta, so they could face a position logjam in the near future.
Diaz, 23, batted .315 with 12 home runs and 11 steals in 270 at-bats in 2012 for Los Naranjas de Villa Clara, Cuba's highest professional league.
* Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu will be the Dodgers' starting pitchers in their two-game season-opening series in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The games will be played March 22-23 at Sydney Cricket Ground. Kershaw will be making his fourth straight season-opening start for Los Angeles. Ryu got the start in Game 2 because of an injury to Zack Greinke, who strained his right calf while throwing four pitches in his only spring appearance on Feb. 27.
* The Reds say righthander Mat Latos might be ready to pitch during the first week of the season despite undergoing a pair of surgeries before the start of spring training. Latos required arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow in October. He was ready to throw before spring training began but tore the meniscus in his left knee during a mound session the week the team reported to camp, requiring another minor surgery.