With the Atlanta Braves failing to acquire Ryan Dempster last week, and other starting pitching targets falling off the board or getting too expensive, the team will look internally to upgrade their rotation. Fredi Gonzalez announced to reporters today that Jair Jurrjens will move to the bullpen, and Kris Medlen will slide into the rotation, making his first start this Tuesday.
Medlen will throw around 70 pitches on Tuesday as he stretches back out for what the Braves (and we) hope will be a long stay in the rotation. For Jurrjens, the move to the bullpen is not ideal, but it is better than getting re-demoted to the minor leagues. Perhaps this will give JJ a chance to work on improving his velocity while throwing fewer innings. Jurrjens becomes the team's most expensive reliever, making more than all other relievers on the team combined.
This is a good move by the Braves, and it helps that Jurrjens apparently took the news well. Hopefully he can find a new gear in the pen, and once again add some value to the team.
Medlen's bulldog mentality on the mound should be a good substitution for the Braves not acquiring a starting pitcher via a trade. The emergence of Ben Sheets since the All-Star break has allowed the Braves the luxury of not having to sell the farm for an upgrade in the rotation. Adding Sheets via free agency is better than trading for Dempster.
We'll have to see if the Braves make any moves before Tuesday's deadline. I would expect them to make a move to strengthen the bench and possibly the bullpen.