08/17/12 7:21 PM ET
Braves sign strikeout leader from Mexican League
By Mark Bowman and Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
Rodriguez threw a bullpen session at Turner Field on Friday. He will return to Mexico briefly to get his work visa and then report to Triple-A Gwinnett.
General manager Frank Wren said Rodriguez is a classic lefty, throwing a sinker in the low 90s with what Wren characterized as a "very good" curveball. Rodriguez led the Mexican League in strikeouts in each of the last two seasons, but Wren said he is more of a ground-ball pitcher with a 2-to-1 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio.
"He sinks the ball well and his strikeout pitch is his curveball," Wren said.
Rodriguez went 11-5 with a 2.54 ERA and struck out 135 batters in 117 innings this season. He struck out 118 batters in 125 innings in 2011.
Wren said Rodriguez will likely open the 2013 season in Gwinnett's starting rotation and could be in a position for a callup later in the year if he performs well.
"He's a guy that our international guys have been watching all summer and have had interest in," Wren said. "He's had very good statistics down there and we like his stuff."
Gearrin sent to Triple-A as Braves activate Hanson
ATLANTA -- The Braves optioned reliever Cory Gearrin to Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday to make room for right-hander Tommy Hanson, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list before starting Atlanta's series opener against the Dodgers.
Gearrin pitched in 10 games since July 31, when he was called up for the second time this year. He didn't allow a run and struck out nine batters in 8 2/3 innings.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he liked what he saw from Gearrin in his most recent stint in the Major Leagues. While Gonzalez didn't make Gearrin any promises, the right-hander will likely be back in the Braves' bullpen after rosters expand on Sept. 1.
"Gearrin's done a good job when he's been up here," Gonzalez said. "I think we'll see him again."
Medlen riding high in wake of first career shutout
ATLANTA -- As calm, cool and composed as Chipper Jones appears, Kris Medlen is every bit as excitable and energetic. But after teaming with Jones to create a memorable Braves victory on Thursday night, Medlen shocked himself by quickly falling asleep.
"I totally crashed," he said. "It was a super adrenaline high and the coolest thing I've ever done in my career. I was like, 'I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight.' Then I laid down and I just passed out. I woke up with a smile on my face and ready to work."
Medlen was still fueled by adrenaline as he prepared for batting practice before Friday night's game against the Dodgers. Less than 24 hours earlier, he had notched his first complete game and shutout against the Padres in a 6-0 victory. Adding to the significance of the event was the fact that Jones hit two home runs in front of a number of fans who had come to Turner Field to receive a Chipper Jones bobblehead doll.
"The fact that I actually got it done makes me want to do it again," Medlen said. "It makes me want to work and keep that feeling going. That was unbelievable."
Saturday will mark the two-year anniversary of the day Medlen underwent Tommy John surgery. The injury halted the success he had experienced while becoming a regular part of the Atlanta rotation in 2010. He spent this season's first four months in the bullpen.
But while posting a 1.05 ERA and limiting opponents to a .245 on-base percentage in the four starts he has made since moving to the rotation, he has created little reason to believe he will be returning to the bullpen.
The Braves have won each of the past 15 games that Medlen has started dating to May 29, 2010. This tied the franchise record set in 1996, when the Braves won 15 consecutive games started by John Smoltz.
But Medlen laughs at the comparison of these stretches. He has gone 8-0 with a 3.28 ERA and allowed opponents to his .248 against him during his streak. Smoltz went 14-0 with a 1.91 ERA and limited opponents to a .173 batting average.
"Like I said last night, I don't even have [14 wins] in my career," Medlen said. "That's not something I can even compare to."
The start time for the Braves' Sept. 15 game against the Nationals has been changed from 7:10 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by FOX.