Braves starting pitcher Brandon Beachy had Tommy John surgery nearly 15 months ago, but the pain and discomfort in his right elbow might keep him out the rest of this season, too. (Reuters)
ATLANTA — After backing off his throwing program due to lingering soreness in his surgically repaired elbow, Brandon Beachy will resume throwing today or Tuesday.
“What I mean by throwing, just playing a little catch,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Nothing more than that.”
He hasn’t pitched in a game since Aug. 20 and it’s uncertain whether Beachy will have enough time to get back to game readiness before the regular season ends Sept. 29.
Beachy had Tommy John surgery nearly 15 months ago, and went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five starts after returning in July. He was shut down for two weeks after lingering soreness increased during an Aug. 20 start. He’d resumed throwing and was confident he would pitch again this season before experiencing more discomfort last week.
After the Braves announced on Thursday that he would again back off throwing, Beachy said, “I’m not where I want to be, that’s really all I have to say about it. I’m frustrated and I’m not where I want to be.”
HAIL, HALE: Not only did Braves rookie David Hale establish a franchise record with nine strikeouts in his major league debut Friday, the Marietta native also did something no other Braves pitcher has done in the modern era since 1900: strike out more than eight batters without allowing a run in a big-league debut.
Only two other major league pitchers, the Mets’ Matt Harvey and Collin McHugh, have pulled off that feat in the past 10 seasons. Both did it in 2012.
Hale’s nine strikeouts were one more than the previous franchise record by a pitcher in his major league debut. Bob Dresser set the previous record in 1902 and Kenshin Kawakami matched it 2009, as a 34-year-old Japanese League veteran making his major league debut.
Hale, 25, allowed four hits and one walk and left with a 3-0 lead, which the Braves bullpen blew in a 4-3 loss. Hale called his scoreless debut performance “a dream come true” and said it would do wonders for his confidence entering spring training next season.
“Obviously I wish we could have gotten the win there and shrunk that magic number,” Hale said. “But I’m still glad to have a good first one under my belt.”
Gonzalez said the Braves had set a limit of 85-95 pitches for Hale in his debut, and weren’t going to push that when the rookie hadn’t pitched since Sept. 2. He was replaced after throwing 87 pitches in five innings.
“He was outstanding,” Gonzalez said Saturday. “He probably felt this morning like he threw 150, just because of the intensity of the pitches here in the big leagues are a little more than that at Gwinnett….
“Who knows what from here on in? Maybe run him in the bullpen. Hopefully everything works out OK where we can see him a couple more times (this season). He really made an impression for him to go into spring training. If he doesn’t pitch again this year, we go into spring training feeling like we have something there.”