For the second time in approximately 24 hours, the Atlanta Braves have lost a starting pitcher to a second Tommy John surgery, as right-hander Brandon Beachy will be forced to have the procedure in the coming days.
RHP Brandon Beachy will have “Tommy John” surgery tomorrow in LA. Dr. ElAttrache will perform the procedure. #Braves
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 20, 2014
Frankly, this news isn’t terribly surprising, although it is certainly troubling. The 27-year-old Beachy left a Spring Training start early back on March 10th, and from there, things snowballed from a “non-issue” all the way to a surgery that will sideline him for the duration of the 2014 season (at a minimum). Beachy was lights-out in 2012, throwing 81 innings over 13 starts and posting a brilliant 2.00 ERA, but that was all he could muster before his first Tommy John surgery, and in 2013, he only recovered in time to throw 30 innings at the end of the regular season.
The general consensus surrounding Beachy this year was one of optimism but caution, and thus, this doesn’t quite feel like the devastating blow that Kris Medlen’s impending surgery was framed as earlier in the week. Still, Beachy’s “upside” was considerable if he could return to his career MLB numbers (3.23 ERA, 9.25 K/9 in over 267 innings), and without him, the options at the bottom of the rotation are limited with regard to explosiveness.
Atlanta will now enter the season with exactly four “healthy” starters in Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Freddy Garcia, and David Hale, and all eyes will shift to the timetables for the trio of Ervin Santana, Mike Minor, and Gavin Floyd. Stay tuned for updates, but the next time we hear from Brandon Beachy will likely be months away with regard to rehabilitation.