Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen has announced his retirement from baseball. Medlen, 32, called it a career after his latest stint in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
Medlen played eight seasons at the major-league level, six of which were with the Braves. During his stint with the Braves, he won 34 games with a 2.95 ERA and 434 strikeouts before injuries derailed his time with the team.
The Braves selected the Artesia, California, native in the 10th round of the 2006 MLB Draft, setting the stage for a three-year minor-league career before finally arriving in Atlanta. After pitching in 37 games for the Braves in 2009, Medlen managed a 6-2 record in 2010 before his season was cut short due to Tommy John surgery.
Medlen returned from the injury in September 2011, appearing in only two games before the season came to a close. Medlen began 2012 as a reliever only to have his breakout year as a starter, going 10-1 and posting a 1.57 ERA. During the 2012 season, the Braves won 23 consecutive games that Medlen started, which set a Major League Baseball record.
In that same season, Medlen also posted a 34 1/3-inning scoreless streak that was the longest by a pitcher in the organization since Greg Maddux in 2000. He won consecutive National League Pitcher of the Month awards in August and September, becoming the first Brave to do so since Maddux in June and July 2001.
Medlen followed the best season of his career with a strong 2013, going 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA and a career-high 157 strikeouts. Medlen’s 2014 season was cut short in spring training when he had to undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career.
Medlen left Atlanta and joined the Kansas City Royals in 2015. He pitched 15 games for a Kansas City team that captured its first World Series championship since 1985. During the team’s World Series showdown with the New York Mets, he pitched one inning, striking out two batters in the Royals’ Game 3 loss.
Medlen again dealt with injuries in 2016 and only pitched in six games for the Royals. The team declined his option after the season, making him a free agent.
Medlen returned to the Braves in 2017. After being released by the team following spring training, he rejoined on a minor-league contract. He pitched in 20 games for three different Braves minor-league teams, posting a 5-8 record with a 4.85 ERA.
Medlen signed a minor-league contract with the Diamondbacks in January 2018. He struggled in seven starts with the Diamondbacks’ Triple A team, going 0-5 with a 5.03 ERA.