Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Braves’ rotation can’t afford Medlen’s loss (Update: Beachy hurt)

  • 12:35 pm Monday, March 10th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Kris Medlen

(This blog will be updated after the results of Kris Medlen’s MRI are announced, probably later today.)

There is nothing the Braves could have done this offseason to prevent pitcher Kris Medlen from grabbing his forearm and walking off the mound Sunday with a potentially serious injury. The question now is whether they’re going to pay a price for doing nothing to strengthen their starting rotation and cushion the blow for a potential loss when some believed they needed to make a move regardless.

Medlen is hurt. We’ll probably find out later today just how hurt he is. But as a general [More]

Braves’ Medlen to shave head for charity

  • 11:08 am Monday, February 17th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Kris Medlen, shown here squirting water on Freddie Freeman after a win last August, has always been one of the team's free spirits. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

(Updated: 11:45 a.m.)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — There is a chance that the Braves’ opening day starter will be bald.

I’m writing a column later today on the Braves’ starting rotation and addressing the question about whether an “ace” as the No. 1 starter is needed. Medlen, Julio Teheran and Mike Minor (in that order) are the most likely candidates to start opening day in Milwaukee on March 31.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the print column on the rotation.

If it’s Medlen, you’ll see a closely shaven scalp under his hat. The Braves’ pitcher has a full head of hair but [More]

Kimbrel’s value as closer obvious to Braves

  • 11:18 am Sunday, February 16th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — There is a disturbed segment of the baseball populace that has come to believe closers are overrated. This group of fans and some team executives mostly are followers (lemmings?) of Sabermetrics, a pure, 100-percent statistical evaluation of baseball that allows no room for trivial things … like brains and heartbeats.

“All innings are created equal,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said with a smile Sunday, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Statistical evaluation can be a valuable tool for judging athletes and teams. But there’s also something to be said for the mindset of a pitcher who can [More]

Braves’ poll: Can Uggla, Upton rebound?

  • 7:21 pm Saturday, February 15th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Dan Uggla is confident he'll have a good season. Are you? Vote in poll.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — I had a lengthy and revealing conversation today with Dan Uggla, the Braves’ often-maligned second baseman. I hope you get a chance to read it online at MyAJC.com or in Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution (the thing made of paper).

A link to the full column can be found here on MyAJC (subscription).

I’m obviously not going to copy and paste all of Uggla’s comments but he was extremely open about his struggles and the accompanying criticism. A couple of excerpts:

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– On the 2013 season, when he hit a career low .179: “I was [More]