By: John Wickham

It is not official yet but Kris Medlen will more than likely have to go under the knife and have Tommy John surgery for the second time. And Brandon Beachy is going to miss, at least, his next start for precautionary reasons, after feeling some tightness in his elbow. Mike Minor still has not pitched in a game this spring and won’t be ready to start the season with the Braves. The Braves starting pitching depth is going to tested this year.

Losing Medlen is tough. He is the Braves de facto #1 pitcher and losing him is going to hurt the Braves. He is a guy that is not going to overwhelm you with power but will overwhelm you with his command of the strike zone and is ability to change the speed of his pitches. He is a hard-worker and excellent leader for this young staff.

As a result of these developments to their starting rotation, the Braves were forced to sign SP Ervin Santana to a 1 year, $14.1 million contract. Santana went 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts for the Royals last season and for his career is 105-90 with a 4.19 ERA. Ervin Santana will be pitching in the NL for the first time after spending his first 9 years in the AL.

I’m not going to lie to you, I do not know much about him. I hope he will pitch awesomely for the Braves but I do not know. I do know that he is confident in himself to do well, and did not sign to a multi-year contract because he believes he will pitch well enough to make more next offseason than this past offseason. I hope he does because the Braves need him to if they want any chance at repeating as NL East Champs.