Beachy Still Question Mark?

Brandon Beachy

Brandon Beachy

Brandon Beachy is being counted on heavily by the Braves this season to start and win games.  You read articles in the media about what Beachy will do in 2014 and it is  like a given he will have a very successful season.

Until Beachy is able to throw free and easy, I am concerned about whether he will approach his pre-injury production level.

Beachy was expected back mid-summer last season, but didn’t make his first start until July 29.  He then hung it up August 20 after only making five starts.  Beachy really wasn’t close to 100%, in my estimation, as he wasn’t able to snap off his breaking pitches.  Rather than the trademark Beachy hard breaking curveball, he was relying on a slow, lollipop curve.

Then he had another surgery to clean up the elbow…

Tommy John surgery is often the “Viagara for pitchers” as many come back as good or better.  Check out Kris Medlen’s stats since his TJ surgery, he has been statistically one of the best starters in the NL since his return from his elbow injury.

What I do like about Beachy is that after his first start last season, he was able to get guys out his next four starts with sub-par stuff.  This injury and the ensuing setbacks are making him a better pitcher and when he does regain his health, he could be “hell on wheels.”

Reports are that after yesterday’s start, Beachy felt just normal soreness.  I’m just so skeptical about spring training rhetoric, though.  Until we see Beachy throwing his fastball in the low ’90s and throwing that hard curve, I’m concerned.  Beachy is a key this season and his progress through spring training is an area I will be tracking.

Hate to be a pessimist, but I have an uneasy feeling about Beachy…

Profile photo of Jim Hart About Jim Hart

Jim has covered the Atlanta Braves since 2008 for local and national broadcast news organizations. He also appears regularly talking Braves baseball on WCCP-FM in Clemson, South Carolina, and the ESPN Radio affiliate, 1420 Sports in St. Augustine, Florida.

Comments

  1. dan harvey says:

    Hopefully Beachy will be ready to go on opening day. I think he was leading the NL in era when he went down a couple of seasons ago. Then Medlin is just a bulldog, Teheran is as good a young pitcher as there is right now, and Minor was actually the rock of the staff last year. Any of these guys could turn out to be top starters since they are all young enough to still get even better.

  2. Wayne Canon says:

    I’ve been worried/skeptical about Beachy since he was shut down after returning from TJ surgery last season.
    I think it would serve us well to ‘pray for the best, plan for the worse.’
    I think Gavin Floyd would make an acceptable starter but I don’t think he has enough left in the tank to get to the break if he starts every 5th day.
    I’m not terribly surprised that Beachy isn’t quite ready to start yet. What I’m waiting for is that inevitable ‘shoe to drop’ in spring training. It seems that every year, most teams have some totally unexpected problem develop with one of their regulars in spring training.
    I just hope we get out of spring training without any more setbacks.

    • Wayne, can we get through spring without that shoe dropping? If B.J. or Uggla get hurt in spring, will be cancel the season? :) Beachy has so much potential, I just hope he gets the opportunity to utilize his full skills.

      • Wayne Canon says:

        Jim, the Braves seem to be pretty good at getting out from under the shoe that drops — we lost our two top relievers to start last year and that turned out pretty good.
        I was just pointing out that it is usually something totally unexpected (losing two relievers) that seems to happen that tests a teams depth.
        How deep are we in middle infielders? :)

  3. BravesBeliever says:

    I’m more of a “glass half full” optimist guy. I agree with everything you said, Jim; however, I would put a little different flavor to it. I actually think Beachy will be “hell on wheels”. I love his competitiveness which may have led to his premature return last year which, in turn, led to his setback. However, watching him pitch yesterday, I got the distinct impression that as much as I know it bruised his competitive soul, he was pitching at about 3/4th potential and he never grimaced, had great results and was making his pitches with his full repertoire of pitch selections. I think the guy has learned a valuable lesson from coming back too soon and is learning how to utilize a “governor” as his best friend, taking it easy, perfecting technique and chompin’ at the bit to let loose as close to post-opening day as he can get his first reg season outing. I’m pretty excited about/for him. Of course, like I say, I’m a half full guy, so maybe I’m drinkin’ the “Beachy-ade”! Only time will tell.

    • Believer, my glass is half full ’cause I’ve got a huge glass. :) I hope you are right about Beachy, I’m just concerned that he is taking longer to come back than other pitchers typically take. Until I see him snapping off that curve, color me worried.

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