So far, Brandon Beachy won’t have to undergo a 2nd Tommy John surgery. He got the news in a visit to Dr. James Andrews yesterday, where Andrews confirmed that Beachy is suffering from another bout of elbow inflammation. You’ll recall that Beachy suffered a bit of a setback shortly after resuming his rehab stint in the minors, when he suffered from the same inflammation. Often, when that sort of inflammation occurs 2 or more times after a TJ surgery, the news is not good, but Beachy is fortunate this time to avoid a second time under the knife.
According to a tweet from David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Beachy’s hope that the ligament in the elbow would still be intact proved true:
Beachy re: Andrews “He confirmed what I’ve been hoping. He just thought it was inflamed,…ligament is intact. It’s good news.”
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) August 27, 2013
According to a report from AJC’s Carroll Rogers, Andrews gave Beachy a cortisone shot to help alleviate the discomfort and inflammation, and the Braves will rest Brandon for at least 10 to 14 days before re-evaluation Brandon to see how he feels. Then, manager Fredi Gonzalez has indicated that Beachy, if healthy again, would return in either a starter or relief role.
Certainly, every player who undergoes TJ surgery experiences the aftermath in different ways, but inflammation in the elbow twice in such a short period of time has to worry the Braves a touch. I wondered myself about the wisdom of bringing Beachy back to a starter role and allowing him to throw so many pitches right out of the gate. Whether to do that or not will always be a debate, but the Braves saw the wisdom with Kris Medlen in stretching him out for a lengthy period as a reliever before going back to a starter role. Perhaps they ought to have done the same with Beachy, but the loss of Tim Hudson and the DL stint of Paul Maholm, coupled together with not getting another reliever before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, sort of forced the Braves’ hand with Beachy.
Beachy said he will be happy to contribute in any role, but that he has strong hopes to be back as a starter at some point before the season ends. Beachy struggled early upon returning, but has had some surprisingly good outings as well, and fans all across Braves’ Country hope that when he does return, the inflammation will be a thing of the past.