Atlanta Braves Play Waiting Game with Brandon Beachy
There has been very little recent news on the status of pitcher Brandon Beachy.
The Atlanta Braves starter was scheduled to make his first start of the MLB season on June 18, but felt discomfort in his last rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett. In that start, Beachy struggled with his command while walking four batters and allowing three runs in three innings. He threw just 38 strikes out of his 69 pitches.
So when can fans expect Beachy to make his 2013 MLB debut?
The Braves have said very little since his last start. General manager Frank Wren told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after his last start that “it’s just the smart thing to do just to slow it down and give him time.”
Fortunately for the Braves, they can afford to be patient with the right-hander thanks to the third best starters’ earned run average (3.37) in the majors. The staff features no weak links with Tim Hudson being the only starter with an ERA above four runs (4.17).
However, Wren would likely feel more comfortable knowing what type of shape Beachy will be in 2013 before the end of July. If he demonstrates that he can be the pitcher he was before the injury, Wren would likely listen to trade offers for pitcher Paul Maholm. The Braves could look to add some bullpen help or perhaps a prospect with long-term potential at second or third base.
The opportunity for starts will present itself in July. The Braves play a stretch of 13 straight games without an off day before the All-Star break, and 20 straight after the All-Star break. This could be the time that the Braves choose to slowly insert Beachy into the rotation without messing up the rhythm of the current starters.
Wren will obviously not rush a decision to put either Beachy or the team in harm’s way. If possible, expect Beachy to get a couple of starts in July, but that is purely speculation as the Braves have offered little clues as to what their plans are for the starter and continue to play the waiting game.