LOS ANGELES — When Kris Medlen faces the Dodgers on Saturday, he’ll pitch in the ballpark he grew up revering. Medlen is from Norwalk, a Los Angeles suburb about 30 minutes from Dodger Stadium.
The ballpark was spiffed up with a massive offseason improvement project, which only added to his excitement as he prepared for his start here since 2010.
“I love this stadium,” he said. “I went to some games here where it was pretty packed when I was growing up. This place gets pretty rocking.
“Sometimes I forget I’m in the big leagues; you get kind of spoiled up here. But every time I come here it, like, takes me back. To what I thought about the whole environment, how cool I thought it was. I love coming here.”
Medlen is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in four games at Dodger Stadium, including three relief appearances. Overall against the Dodgers, he’s 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in seven games (two starts), including no decision on May 18 when he limited them to two hits and one unearned run in seven innings at Turner Field.
Medlen’s parents now live in Texas, and two brothers moved to Texas and to Atlanta. So he doesn’t have immediate family in the Los Angeles anymore. But he’ll have about 12-15 people seated in the luxury box his agent bought for Saturday’s game, including friends and cousins from the L.A. area, and his wife, Nicole, who flew in from Atlanta.
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.