The Braves have placed Brandon Beachy on the 15-day disabled list and plan to send him for a full workup and MRI with contrasting dye on his pitching elbow on Monday morning.
Beachy had to leave Saturday’s start against the Orioles after 3 2/3 innings after his elbowed flare up on back-to-back curveballs. He threw four more pitches to Orioles right fielder Chris Davis, before calling out catcher Brian McCann to the mound.
Beachy said his elbow didn’t feel right after the breaking pitches, and then he glanced up and saw 86 mph on the speed of pitch indicator at Turner Field after he’d thrown a fastball.
Beachy said he didn’t feel a pop or a tell-tale burning sensation that often accompanies an elbow ligament tear, but he said: “I felt like there was going to be a pop. I finished throwing to that batter and one didn’t come. But I clearly couldn’t continue to throw pitches.”
Beachy said he has a history of bone spurs and his best hope now is that doctors will say that is what is causing the discomfort that first cropped up after his previous start. But if there’s a ligament tear, and he has to undergo ligament transplant surgery, the standard recovery time is 12-14 months.
Beachy had felt some soreness in his elbow after his previous start against Toronto so the Braves gave him several extra days’ rest before his start against the Orioles. Beachy said he didn’t feel it throwing in the bullpen, but his elbow gradually got tighter over the first few innings. He hadn’t allowed a baserunner until he walked Davis.
“Just didn’t feel good,” Beachy said. “It just got to a point where it wasn’t worth continuing to push through it. It was gradual, started coming back slowly, just tightness, just kind of came up there and got to the point where I knew I couldn’t go.”
Beachy is leading all qualified starters in the major leagues with a 2.00 ERA. He’s been a hard-luck loser of late and is now 5-5, after taking the loss Saturday despite allowing only that one walk. His won-loss record is the least of his concerns now, though.
“I’m just waiting,” Beachy said. “Hope for the best.”
The same goes for his manager.
“I think the thing will settle down a little bit and he’ll be fine,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I expect him to be back 15 or 20 days. I don’t expect his season to be over by any means. That’s me, not seeing the MRI or having any kind of medical background.”
The Braves have recalled Todd Redmond from Triple-A Gwinnett, but that was to provide an extra arm in the bullpen. The Braves plan to recall Jair Jurrjens from Gwinnett to make his return to the major leagues in Beachy’s place Friday night in Boston.
Jurrjens has been in Gwinnett since late April trying to regain his form after starting the season 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in four starts. He’s 3-4 with a 5.27 ERA in nine starts for Gwinnett. He’ll likely throw a couple of innings on day early this week in Gwinnett to stay sharp, then join the Braves on Thursday’s off day in Boston.
Redmond is in his eighth season in the Braves organization but this will be his first taste of the major leagues.