Opinion

Kris Medlen heads to Royals complex in Arizona to begin rehab outings

Royals pitcher Kris Medlen took part in spring training drills during February in Surprise, Ariz.
Royals pitcher Kris Medlen took part in spring training drills during February in Surprise, Ariz. The Kansas City Star

Kris Medlen packed his gear into a Royals-issued duffel bag on Sunday afternoon. As his teammates freshened up after a loss to Detroit, Medlen said a few goodbyes. After spending the first month with the club, he was bound for the Royals’ complex in Arizona to begin rehabilitation outings as he returns from Tommy John surgery.

Medlen, a 29-year-old right-hander, estimated he would spend about a month in Arizona before he was cleared to pitch in minor-league games. The Royals will be cautious with Medlen, who could contribute in 2015, but is also under contract for next season.

Medlen tore his ulnar collateral ligament for the second time last March. Atlanta non-tendered him in the offseason. Kansas City signed him to a two-year, $8.5 million contract soon after. He has been throwing bullpen sessions since the middle of March.

Medlen could aid the Royals as either a reliever or a starter. The club has a pair of deficiencies in their current rotation, with both Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas off to rocky starts.

FROM THE STAR

1. Jeremy Guthrie has a 6.52 ERA, but Ned Yost won’t let his faith in Guthrie waver.

2. Vahe Gregorian wrote a column about the burgeoning rivalry between the Royals and the Tigers.

3. Blair Kerkhoff details an excellent, unorthodox double play turned by Christian Colon and Omar Infante.

4. Lorenzo Cain dropped his appeal and accepted his two-game suspension.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

33.2 percent.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

"English Subtitles" by Swervedriver.

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

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