June 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Brandon Beachy (37) leaves the game due to injury against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Delaying on Beachy Decision

If all goes according to the plan, Brandon Beachy‘s last rehab start with Gwinnett will take place Thursday with their 7pm game at Rochester.  Thus far, Beachy has thrown 9 innings in 2 starts for the AAA squad.  3.00 ERA, 6 hits allowed – 2 of them homers.  11 strikeouts, but 6 walks.  After this start, the Braves will get together to decide whether he’s really ready to return, but the hope is that he can be in the lineup on the 18th (next Tuesday) for a double-header with the Mets (one of these a makeup from their May 4th rainout) at Turner Field.

At that point, we had expected a decision on the question of Who Goes To The Bullpen.  Not so fast.

According to Frank Wren, in a Tuesday podcast interview with Buster Olney (starting roughly at the 25 minute mark), the Braves are going to take full advantage of a clause in the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement that permits them to call up a 26th roster player for double-headers.  This was done specifically to allow teams to stock an extra pitcher for the occasion, and Brandon Beachy is set to be that 26th guy.

After the games on the 18th, Beachy would be returned to Gwinnett, where he would sit until his next rotation turn comes around… no earlier than June 23rd.  This buys another five days to see what happens with the starters.  If somebody gets hurt in the meantime – or if Beachy has any kind of a setback in the meantime – then the decision becomes academic.

But what if everyone is healthy?  Have you had those discussions yet?  “We are on the fringe of those conversations.”  Frank went on to say that there is “no easy answer,” but that ultimately they would do what’s best for the club… whatever that may come to mean.

During all rehab appearances, Beachy has made four starts totaling 19 innings.  8 walks, 18 K’s, 15 hits, 6 earned, 3 HR allowed, 2 wild pitches.  To this point in June, the Braves’ pitching staff leads the National League with a 2.11 ERA – a full run better than second place Philadelphia.  Their starters have been even better:  number one in baseball with a 1.81 ERA over almost 75 innings and 11 starts.

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