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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Tags: Atlanta Braves Brandon Beachy

  • James Michael Nales

    How about a 6 man rotation until someone falters, and loses his place in the starting line up

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      That was done last year – briefly – albeit under substantially different circumstances (at least 3 pitchers needed an extra day for a couple of turns). I expect that the team will not wish to throw everyone off their normal routine, especially when they are pitching so well. Better to annoy one than mess up six.

      Right now, I’d flip a coin between Teheran and Beachy for that 5th slot… and they could actually attempt to split their time for a bit.

      There are two teams that have used only 5 starters in 2013: Detroit and Atlanta. Last year, only Cincy made it this far. That’s just how solid the pitching has been. We’re spoiled. But that’s also a good reason to have six guys stretched out and ready to go. This is an unusual situation, and you can’t count on it lasting.

    • Jeff Schafer

      I like the 6 man rotation….think that could be doable

      Also Beachy was never a starter until the big leagues, so he does have bullpen experience….tho I don’t see him back in the pen

  • cheadrick

    Beachy hasn’t done rehab as a reliever, and has not been one, but I have mixed feelings about him coming back to the regular rotation too fast. Remains to be seen, but I could see value in Brandon temporarily in relief role.