Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/16/14
Five months after having a second reconstuctive elbow surgery and wondering if he’d ever make it back again, Braves pitcher Kris Medlen is back to being Kris Medlen — full of energy, and counting the days until he’s cleared to pick up a baseball in 2 ½ weeks and begin throwing again. “Night and day,” he said of his confidence level now compared to March, when he tore his ulnar collateral ligament and had his second Tommy John surgery in four years. “I’m in the middle of rehab so it’s hard to say, because I haven’t started throwing yet. But at this point, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m going to be back at some point next season. “It depends on how aggressive they want to be with the throwing program, obviously, as far as the timing of everything next year. But as of right now, before I pick up a baseball, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be back. Hopefully here.” The last two words were something Medlen wouldn’t have needed to add if he’d been among the Braves who got multi-year contract extensions in the spring. But he wasn’t, and Medlen will be arbitration eligible again for the third time this offseason, after making $5.8 million this season. For the first time, the non-tender deadline in December is something he’ll be thinking plenty about. Medlen would be eligible for free agency after the 2015 season if he’s offered arbitration, but would be a free agent this winter if the Braves decide they’re not willing to pay him a salary similar to this season and thus decline to offer arbitration.
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