LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — He went from undrafted free-agent signee to Braves opening-day rotation in under three years, but Beachy said it was too soon to say all his work paid off.
“I haven’t even won a game in the big leagues,” the rookie said a few hours before pitching six scoreless innings of two-hit ball against Detroit on Friday night. “I mean, it’s definitely an accomplishment to be on the roster, but it’s nothing compared to what I want to accomplish.”
He’s scheduled to start the exhibition finale Wednesday against Minnesota at Turner Field.
Beachy, 24, is a formerly obscure right-hander from Indiana Wesleyan. His stock soared in 2010 when he led all minor league pitchers with a 1.73 ERA while recording 148 strikeouts in 119 1/3 innings.
Brought to the majors to replace the injured Jurrjens on Sept. 20, he posted a 3.00 ERA in three starts for the Braves and had 15 strikeouts in 15 innings.
Beachy has limited opponents to seven hits and two runs in 23 innings over his past five spring starts. He had one walk with six strikeouts against Detroit, faced two batters over the minimum in six innings, and threw 50 strikes in 74 pitches.
In two starts against the Tigers over seven days, he allowed three hits in 11 scoreless innings.
“It’s always a challenge facing the same team twice in a row, but I like the challenge,” he said after Friday’s game. “It’s really nice now to take a deep breath and know I’m going to Atlanta.”
After the news was reported Thursday that he won the job, “I heard from just about everybody that knows me,” Beachy said. “My phone was going off all day.”
His first call was to his parents in Indiana, who immediately began planning vacation time and checking into flights to see some of their son’s initial starts.
“They’re pretty excited,” he said, then corrected himself. “They’re ecstatic.”
So is Beachy.
“Really excited,” he said. “I’m anxious. Anxious to get going. It’s going to be a lot of fun, hopefully. I’m looking forward to contributing to our cause, achieving goals, and being a part of it.”