Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Brandon Beachy has been placed on the 15-day disabled list for right elbow inflammation. He was scratched from Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals after showing signs of discomfort during the final stages of his last start.
Beachy returned from Tommy John rehabilitation in late July and had started to shine on the mound just before he experienced a setback during his game against the New York Mets last Tuesday. Though he pitched well, Beachy began to experience tightness in his right forearm and a drastic drop in velocity during the final pitches of the sixth inning. The final pitch he threw was an 82 mph four-seam fastball.
In June, Beachy experienced a setback during a minor league rehabilitation start, which was diagnosed as right elbow inflammation. He said what he was feeling during his game against the Mets was similar to what he felt that day in June. That particular incident in his rehab start only set him back a few weeks, so that is a positive sign.
We’ll learn more very soon when Beachy goes to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday, the same doctor who performed the Tommy John surgery on him last season. Beachy was set to receive an MRI, but that was been canceled since it is difficult to interpret MRIs of players who have had their elbows repaired.
Based off the way he feels, Beachy seems to think he’ll be fine, and is confident he’ll pitch again this season.
I can only hope he is right, as Beachy will be a key pitcher for the Braves in the postseason. The way I see it, Atlanta has an excellent pitching staff capable of winning in the playoffs, but all of them are wild cards.
Julio Teheran and Alex Wood are both very young and inexperienced. While they’ve demonstrated that they can pitch very well, I don’t have quite as much confidence in their ability to pitch in October. Mike Minor is probably the most confident pitcher on the staff right now, and he’s never pitched in the playoffs either.
In fact, the only pitcher on the Braves’ staff who has is Kris Medlen. He’s pitched one postseason game last season, and we know how well that went.
Beachy isn’t very experienced himself, but compared to guys like Wood and Teheran, he’s about as salty as they come. It’s going to be a long weekend in Braves country as we await the news of Beachy’s visit to Dr. Andrews on Monday. That visit could mean the difference between a World Series championship and another choke performance in the NLDS.