This is my first Fanpost, so be gentle...
So like many of you, I was very upset when I saw Medlen leave the game last night and after hearing the news today of the partial tear to the ligament in his elbow. You never like to see a guy go down with a potentially very serious injury and this was no exception. We may not know the effects of this injury on the team for sure until the season is over, but here are my concerns:
First off, it is very hard to ignore that the Braves are 13-1 in Meds' starts this year. Whatever it may be, the Braves just win when he starts and that cannot be ignored (FYI they are 4-11 when Kenshin Kawakami starts. Not saying thats fair, but its just a fact). Numbers like that indicate that the team has confidence that they will win the game when he is on the mound, almost regardless of how he pitches
Secondly, I know the Braves are blessed with extraordinary depth of talented pitchers in their system and I am excited to see what Minor's got, but Medlen's WAR so far this season is 1.5. Tim Hudson's WAR this year is 1.9 and he is our undisputed ace(Tommy has a WAR of 3.1 as BenDurino mentioned in another post). I understand that there are more statistics and intangibles that go into evaluating a players value, but what makes Medlen so valuable is that he is a 5th starter. I couldn't find the exact number for the average WAR for a fifth starter this year, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that it is below 1.5 by a fair amount. I do acknowledge that a fifth starter usually doesn't change the dynamics of a team drastically, but having a good one like Meds can only help.
Next, I really do think not having him back in the pen come playoff time (knock on wood) or down the stretch is seriously going to suck. He has an uncanny ability to be a tremendous asset both in the pen and in the rotation this year.
Lastly, we don't know how much this will affect the psyche of the team. Many Braves have gone out of their way to say that Medlen is a spark plug and gives the team life.
I am not a doom and gloom kind of a guy at all, I swear (despite what some might think after this post), but I just wanted to get my thoughts out there. I still feel great about this team, but just wanted to see what you guys think. How much of an effect do you think the loss of Medlen will have?