Sep 07, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy (37) delivers to the plate during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Braves 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Lately, all the talk about the Atlanta Braves has been about a player that hasn’t even seen the field this season. That guy is Brandon Beachy, and he is pretty close to making his comeback to the majors.
Beachy is in the middle of a rehab process in the minors, and is scheduled to return to the rotation on June 18, where is expected to start in a doubleheader against the Mets. However, many people aren’t sure what should happen with the rotation when Beachy comes back, and that includes the manager of the team.
This is from Mark Bowman’s story on the issue:
"If Beachy remains on schedule, the Braves can take advantage of the rule that allows teams to add one player to their roster on the day of a doubleheader. But this does not solve how Beachy will fit into a rotation that currently contains five effective starting pitchers.“If you had to do it today, what would you do?” Gonzalez said. “We’ll see what happens. We still have [nine days]. I know you all want answers, absolutes and all of that kind of stuff. But what do you do?”Assuming all of the current members of the rotation remain healthy, the Braves will have to make an uncomfortable difficult decision. The presence of multiple off-days scheduled over the next couple of weeks has led Gonzalez to believe he will not go to a six-man rotation to accommodate Beachy.But there is certainly not a clear-cut answer to this problem that most other clubs would like to have."
Lately, every one of the Braves starting pitchers have been performing well. In my opinion, the starters should be ranked in this order:
- Mike Minor
- Julio Teheran
- Kris Medlen
- Tim Hudson
- Paul Maholm
In a recent piece on Talking Chop, Ben Duronio talked about the situation and came to the conclusion that a six-man rotation for a few weeks would be the best decision.
"My decision, and what I think the Braves will ultimately do, is go through the rotation two to three times with six men in it and make their decision then. This gives them some flexibility and they have already went with a short bullpen for a bit this season. Doing so again is not the greatest way to have an efficient 25 man roster, but with a difficult decision like this it may make sense as a short term option."
First of all, I don’t like six-man rotations. Like Ben points out in his article, it means our best pitchers will be missing starts so that more people can be involved in the rotation. He also talks about how the team has already gone with a short bullpen for a period of time this season. In my opinion, this is another reason not to go to a six-man.
Instead of using Beachy in the starting rotation, wouldn’t it make more sense to work him into the bullpen? It could be just like what the team did with Kris Medlen last year.
Beachy would get the chance to get used to major league hitters, you wouldn’t have to make a premature decision about the starters, and if he was used correctly, you can avoid putting too much stress on Beachy’s arm. All of those are good things.
The decision is pretty obvious to me, and I’m not sure why so many people are reluctant on putting Brandon Beachy in the bullpen for a bit. Some people have said that “Beachy doesn’t have the stuff to throw in the pen,” or that “he doesn’t have a relief pitcher’s mentality.”
That is just ridiculous.
A pitcher is a pitcher, and you try and do the same thing whether you are a starter or a reliever: Get hitters out. If you think Beachy isn’t an improvement over a David Carpenter or an Anthony Varvaro, or even a Cory Gearrin… I’m sorry.
I’ve started to ramble a bit so I should probably wrap this one up.
In conclusion, I feel like it would be best for the team if Brandon Beachy was worked into the bullpen on his return. This does several things:
- Takes away the decision to remove a pitcher from the starting rotation who deserves to be there
- Immediately improves the bullpen
- Allows Beachy to adjust to major league hitters at a better pace, and throw fewer innings right away (again this depends on his usage by management)
The first two are the main reasons for my choice. What do you guys think the Braves should do when Brandon Beachy comes back?