ATLANTA — The Braves are going to shut down pitcher Brandon Beachy for 10-14 days. But the good news is that the right-hander is only suffering from inflammation, not further structural damage to his surgically repaired right elbow.
“It was good news,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. “It was better than getting up to bad news, like a couple of teams did with their young pitchers.”
Beachy was scratched from the rotation when he complained again of soreness in his right arm after making his start against the Mets on Aug. 20. He was examined by Dr. James Andrews, who performed the Tommy John surgery on Beachy last summer, and got the good news. There was some fluid on the elbow, but the ligament was intact and fine.
“(Andrews) confirmed what I’ve been hoping,” Beachy said. “He just thought it was inflamed, a lot of fluid in there. The ligament is intact and it’s good news.”
Beachy was given a cortisone shot and the Braves, 3-2 winners over Cleveland on Wednesday, will shut him down for 10-14 days and re-evaluate him at that time. If all goes well, Beachy would be able to return to the rotation in mid-September. He is currently on the 15-day disabled list.
Beachy felt some discomfort in his last start, when his fastball — normally in the low 90s — topped out around 85 mph. It’s the same sort of discomfort and drop in velocity he felt before returning the major leagues in June.
Beachy has made five starts for the Braves, going 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA. He’s struck out 23 and walked only four in 30 innings.
WALK-OFF WIN: Chris Johnson is known around the Braves clubhouse for having a bit of a temper, and he put it to good use late Wednesday night.
Johnson took a little offense to the Indians’ walking Freddie Freeman in the ninth inning — even though he knew it made perfect sense with first base open and right-hander Joe Smith on the mound — but he let it get under his collar anyway.
Johnson used a little extra emotion to rifle a 2-2 pitch past shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to drive in the winning run of a 3-2 Braves victory. Johnson still had an intense look on his face after he emerged from the celebratory scrum.
“You go up there thinking, ‘All right you want me? You got me,’” Johnson said after the game in the cooler confines of the Braves clubhouse, where logic prevailed. “It’s all part of the game, and I think no matter who was hitting back there, unless it was Miguel Cabrera or somebody like that, they’re probably going to walk Freddie and get to the righty.”
Not that Johnson is exactly a slouch. He’s second in the National League in hitting at .329 and tied for fourth in the majors behind said Cabrera, who’s leading the American League at .357. But Johnson just provided another example of the Braves morphing into whatever they’ve needed to keep this season’s roll going.