Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy will undergo his second Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2014 season. (Reuters)
ATLANTA — Atlanta Braves right-handed pitcher Brandon Beachy will have Tommy John surgery in his right elbow for the second time today and is expected to miss the entire season, the team announced Thursday.
The Braves said that Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Neal ElAttrache will operate in Los Angeles. Beachy’s ulnar collateral ligament was reconstructed by Dr. James Andrews on June 21, 2012, and Beachy returned to go 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 30 innings over five starts from July 29 to Aug. 20 last summer.
Beachy now faces the same path that awaits Braves rotation teammate Kris Medlen, who underwent his own second Tommy John surgery on Tuesday at Andrews’ Pensacola, Fla., office.
Pitchers typically face a 12-to-14-month rehab process following the procedure. The timetable is often a little longer for those who have undergone the surgery for a second time.
Beachy finished last season on the disabled list because of elbow inflammation and left his third spring training start after two innings on March 10 complaining of soreness in his elbow and biceps.
Beachy was examined Monday by Andrews, who recommended surgery, and the 27-year-old sought a second opinion with ElAttrache.
“It was confirmed by both doctors that he needed it, so he chose to have the surgery out there,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “The way I look at it: This is his career, he’s got to feel confident and comfortable with how this is going to play out. If he has a better comfort level with one doctor versus another, that’s OK. That’s all part of the healing process going forward, that confidence. If that’s how he feels, that’s OK.”
BRAVES OPTION VASQUEZ: The Braves trimmed the spring-training roster by five Thursday when they optioned right-handed relievers Luis Vasquez and Juan Jaime, catching prospect Christian Bethancourt and outfielder Todd Cunningham to Triple-A Gwinnett, and optioned shortstop Elmer Reyes to Double-A Mississippi.
Vasquez was considered a strong candidate for a bullpen spot after the Braves signed him as a minor league free agent during his impressive winter-ball season in the Dominican Republic. But he got off to a late start because of visa issues and a strained lat muscle, and his command wasn’t sharp when he began pitching in Grapefruit League games.
The sidearmer allowed just two hits in 3-2/3 innings over four appearances, but had six walks with two strikeouts, including two walks and two runs (one earned) in the seventh inning Wednesday against the Yankees.
Jaime was charged with two runs and four walks while recording just one out in the ninth inning Wednesday. He allowed just one hit in 5-1/3 innings over six appearances, but the hard-throwing right-hander had seven walks to go with five strikeouts..
“Too late in camp to be walking people,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Wednesday’s game. “You can live with that early in camp, when some of these guys haven’t pitched. But some of these guys now have eight, nine, 10 appearances. You can’t be doing that.”
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer David O’Brien contributed to this article