Opinion

Ned Yost hopes Kris Medlen can begin to contribute to Royals by June

Kansas City Royals pitcher Kris Medlen stretches during Sunday’s spring training workout for the Royals on February 22, 2015 in Surprise, Ariz.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Kris Medlen stretches during Sunday’s spring training workout for the Royals on February 22, 2015 in Surprise, Ariz. The Kansas City Star

Hung up in the Royals training room is a schedule for Kris Medlen’s rehabilitation from his second Tommy John surgery. It details the milestones on his recovery, like when he can retake a mound for the first time. Medlen says he never looks at it.

“I don’t even think about it,” Medlen said. “The second time around, I just think mentally I have a completely different approach. It’s so cliché, but it’s ‘one day at a time.’ But I have literally done this the entire time, and, man, it’s flown by. I can’t believe it’s spring training already.”

Medlen first tore his ulnar collateral ligament in August of 2010. He tore it again in 2014. In between, he shined as both a starter and a reliever for Atlanta, with a 2.45 ERA and four strikeouts for every batter he walked. The Braves non-tendered him as he rehabbed this winter, and the Royals barged in with a two-year, $8.5 million offer.

The contract may pay more dividends in 2016, but Kansas City still hopes for contributions from Medlen this summer. He has been active in drills here in camp and is able to play catch. Manager Ned Yost indicated Medlen was scheduled to start throwing bullpens by the middle of March.

“We’re hoping to have him ready by June at the earliest,” Yost said.

FROM THE STAR

1. Ryan Madson details his route to Kansas City, after three years away from the majors, and his hopes to finally return from Tommy John surgery.

2. A story involving Hernan Cortes, a neon deer butt and Jeremy Guthrie shopping at Hobby Lobby.

3. ICYMI, from Sunday: Alex Gordon opens up about his contract situation. He wants to remain a Royal, but he hedged when asked about picking up his option for 2016.

4. Here is a video dispatch filed on Sunday afternoon. If you aren’t already following John Sleezer on Twitter, please do.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

“The Whale and Jonah” by The Sidekicks.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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