May 27, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Brandon Beachy (37) pitches in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Things continue to be on the up and up for Braves’ pitcher Brandon Beachy who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and Sunday night was another successful night during the recovery process.
Beachy started a minor league rehab assignment for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves and pitched four innings, allowing four hits, a run, two walks and notched four strike outs. He threw 70 pitches and 43 of them were strikes.
This is another step in the right direction for Beachy. Braves fans will be waiting to see how Beachy feels tomorrow and the next day, as the following days are the most important in his return process. Coming off an injury in the arm, the most important thing is to see how your arm feels during the following days. Barring any major setbacks, Beachy could make a return sometime this year.
The biggest question this year is if Beachy were to return, where would they put him? The idea that makes the most sense would be to follow the route the Braves did with Kris Medlen by putting Beachy in the bullpen and allow him to get back into the flow of things.
The good news is that there isn’t an absolute need nor is there a rush to push Beachy back in the rotation. So far the Braves’ rotation has managed to pitch very well the first half of the season and the bullpen, which has been maligned with injuries as well, has been able to hold up their end as well.
However, the bullpen will eventually wear out and if Beachy can give them someone with a relatively (and for the lack of a better word) fresh arm, that would help the Braves immensely towards their push to the playoffs. Guys like Anthony Varvaro, Alex Wood (assuming one of them is still up here when Beachy is called back to Atlanta) have pitched well to this point but don’t have the experience that the Braves need in the bullpen, and one would assume you can’t continually throw Walden, Carpenter, Ayala among others out there every night.
All in all, the Braves are facing a good problem to have. They have plenty of arms, but the question will remain, how long can those arms last? Beachy would be a nice addition the bullpen to help the Braves make a push in October.