Med Dog provides the reminder he was once an athlete
Other than the fact both are vertically-challenged right-handed pitchers with a sound understanding of how to baffle lineups without an overpowering fastball, I don’t see the need to draw comparisons between Kris Medlen and Greg Maddux. I was thinking about waiting at least until Medlen compiles 20 career wins, or within about 330 of Maddux’s total.
But what Medlen has been impressive enough for Chipper Jones to mention Medlen in the same breath as Maddux. This was his (@RealCJ10) poetic recap of Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over the Padres:
Medlen is Maddux-esque rite now, only Med has a better pick-off move! DU went
#mammo off the paint can! Bmac is now singing soprano,Lol!!
Before we go any further, let’s stay in the Twitter world and suggest that Medlen’s nickname be Med Dog, which is obviously a play off of Maddux’s nickname, Mad Dog. The first person I saw suggest this was @fauxfrankwren
Now back to our original thought….
In the process of tossing eight scoreless innings against the Padres on Tuesday, Medlen made the Navy Seals on Coronado Island proud with the sniper-like reflexes he showed while picking two runners off first base. This is certainly not something you would expect to see from a right-handed pitcher.
But as Medlen would like to remind you, he was a right-handed athlete before he became a pitcher.
“I’m a former shortstop. I used to be good at stuff, like playing baseball and hitting and stuff,” Medlen said. “That’s one thing that stuck with me was my quick feet. You guys have been around me enough to know that I can’t really stand still. It’s just one of those quick things that I’ve developed and it’s helped me control the run game early in my career.”
Since making his Major League debut in 2009, Medlen has recorded six pickoffs, three this year. Johnny Cueto (8) and R.A. Dickey (4) are the only right-handed pitchers with more pickoffs this year.
Dating back to 1987, Medlen is one of 13 Braves’ pitchers to total at least six pickoff moves. John Smoltz (18), Maddux (15) and Tim Hudson (9) are the only right-handed members of this group with more than six pickoffs. Each of these pitchers obviously compiled many more innings than Medlen.
As for the fact that today’s starting pitcher Tommy Hanson is another right-hander who has also compiled six pickoffs, well it’s safe to say he’s had plenty of reason to attempt to stop baserunners from taking advantage of his delivery.