Braves’ Beachy to have season-ending elbow surgery

NEW YORK – It was the Braves’ worst fears realized but news they expected: pitcher Brandon Beachy needs season-ending surgery for his torn elbow ligament.

The burgeoning ace will have ligament-transplant surgery (aka “Tommy John” surgery) done on Thursday by Dr. James Andrews, the renowned specialist who examined his elbow and MRI results on Wednesday to provide a second opinion, after a Braves orthopedist diagnosed a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Rehabilitation from the surgery is typically 11-13 months, meaning Beachy could be expected to return sometime around the 2013 All-Star break.

“It’s a shame, but Dr. Andrews confirmed what our doctors saw,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, “and he’s going to have the procedure [Thursday]. We’re going to miss him.”

Beachy, 25, had emerged as an All-Star candidate after going 5-5 with a 2.00 ERA in his first 13 starts, tied for the National League ERA lead and leading the majors with a .171 opponents’ batting average.

“It’s tough,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “He was pitching well, really doing everything you could ask. Growing as a pitcher, growing in stature as a guy that you could really expect to shut the other team down. So it’s tough. Tough to lose him, and obviously tough for him.”

The Braves have recalled Jair Jurrjens from Triple-A Gwinnett to move into Beachy’s rotation spot beginning with a start Friday night in an interleague series opener against the Red Sox in Boston. They hope Jurrjens pitches well enough in the next few starts to alleviate their starting-rotation concerns, but Beachy’s season-ending injury could increase the likelihood of the Braves trading for a proven pitcher before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Braves top scout Jim Fregosi, a special assistant to Wren, was spotted at Cubs starter Matt Garza’s, most recent start, and the Braves are believed to be among the six or more teams interested in the right-hander, who is making $9.5 million this season and has another year of arbitration eligibility in 2013 before he can be a free agent.

The Cubs have also made it known that veteran pitcher Ryan Dempster is available, through Dempster is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a lat strain and is eligible for free agency after the season.

Either pitcher would probably cost at least two prospects in a trade, and those prospects would presumably have to be of a higher quality in a deal for Garza given his contract status.

Dempster is still owed more than half of his $14 million salary this season, and the Cubs might cover a good chunk of it depending upon the grade of prospects they are offered in a potential trade.

Jurrjens was a 2012 All-Star, but his performance plummeted after the All-Star break and knee problems sidelined him for much of the second half of the season. He went 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA and .411 opponents’ average in four starts this season before being sent to Gwinnett and instructed to work on all aspects of his game.

He was just 3-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 10 starts at Gwinnett, including a one-inning tuneup appearance Tuesday, but Braves officials say his performance was better than the numbers indicated and were skewed somewhat by one poor start when he pitched while weakened with flu symptoms.

“I think we get through the next few weeks leading up to when the trading season really begins,” Wren said, “and we evaluate what we have, how guys are throwing and who might be available. It was nice to see our guys bounce back the last couple of days here [against the Yankees]… Our pitchers did a fine job – this was a good series all in all.”

Beachy retired the first 11 batters he faced in Saturday’s game against Baltimore, then felt pain in his elbow when he threw two curveballs that spiked into the dirt against Chris Davis in the fourth inning. When his fastball velocity dipped to 86 mph on a pitch before he walked Davis, Beachy knew something was wrong. Davis was the last batter he’ll face this season.

Among the Braves pitchers who’ve come back strong after Tommy John surgery: Tim Hudson, Jonny Venters, Kris Medlen and Chad Durbin, along with non-roster veteran Peter Moylan, who is currently rehabbing from from shoulder surgery. Braves pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino had Tommy John surgery during spring training and should be back in 2013.

“It’s never fun,” Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson said. “Especially when you see it happen to a guy like Beachy, who works so hard and is such a good guy. It’s never fun to watch, because I think we all know at any time that could happen to us, too.

“It sucks. I feel really bad for him, but you know how Beachy is. He’ll be fine. He’ll work hard and get back. But obviously he wishes he was here, and so did we.”

172 comments Add your comment

JipWiz

June 20th, 2012
9:44 pm

bruce

June 20th, 2012
9:44 pm

Rooting for you Brandon!

JipWiz

June 20th, 2012
9:44 pm

Sad new. Get healthy Beach!

JoeyBagOBravos

June 20th, 2012
9:48 pm

Jurrjens was a 2011 All-Star… Hang in there Brandon!

Tom

June 20th, 2012
9:54 pm

Only 3 hours after ESPN posted about it.

Michael

June 20th, 2012
9:59 pm

Brandon Beachy was a great ace for the Braves, he will definitely be missed, but I’m looking forward to his comeback in 2013. Beachy for Cy Young 2013!

Quack Quack

June 20th, 2012
10:03 pm

Hang tight Brandon, you’ll be back better than ever.

Best of luck to JJ. Your chance of a lifetime. Make the most of it.

GO BRAVES!!!

Mike Lewis

June 20th, 2012
10:07 pm

Good luck Brandon on your surgery…I met several of your family members at Spring Training this year with one granddad wearing a St. Patrick’s Day Braves Hat printed with “Brandon’s granddad” on the back of the hat! It made me stop and talk to all of them…..My wife and I came down for our 23rd wedding anniversary on the 16th of March!

FireRogerMcdowelldotcom

June 20th, 2012
10:11 pm

what you guys fail to realize that not only do we loose beachy for this year we lose him for all of next year as well.. he wont be ready to pitch before the 2014 season

Braves in last palce by the all star brake

June 20th, 2012
10:11 pm

Dave

June 20th, 2012
10:15 pm

Glad Dr. Andrews is doing the surgery.

JNick

June 20th, 2012
10:25 pm

He’ll be back by mid-season next year, if we’re lucky….

OrlandoBraveFan

June 20th, 2012
10:27 pm

Get well Brandon, hope it’s a speedy recovery. What prospects would Braves give up for a starting pitcher?

P. Bull Terrier

June 20th, 2012
10:37 pm

Do the Braves have an insurance policy that will cover Beachy’s salary during the time he is on the DL?

Not that an extra $495,000 (prorated, I assume) buys much major league talent these days, but with the Braves shoestring budget, every dollar helps.

Fred

June 20th, 2012
10:42 pm

“FireRogerMcdowelldotcom
June 20th, 2012
10:11 pm

what you guys fail to realize that not only do we loose beachy for this year we lose him for all of next year as well.. he wont be ready to pitch before the 2014 season”

The article says he will be back around the all star break of 2013… And McDowell is a GREAT pitching coach and no one should be talking crap about him.

BravesfaninWis

June 20th, 2012
11:13 pm

I know this news sucks, but Beach is not a ace pitcher DOB. The guy is at .500 with a 5-5 record. Yes he has the best ERA in baseball, but I would rather have a guy who is 17-5 with a 4.00 era at the end of the season versus a guy who is 11-11 with a 2.00 era. Its all about wins and losses, and with that being said, Beach was a average pitcher. I hate that he is injured just as much as the next guy, but its not like he is a Roy Halladay, or Steven Strasburg type of pitcher.

really?

June 20th, 2012
11:27 pm

Give me the pitcher with the 2.00 ERA before a pitcher with a 4.00 ERA any day. Those who look strictly at the pitcher’s W-L record aren’t the most knowledgeable. Unless the pitcher with the 4.00 ERA also is hitting over .300 and driving in a couple runs each time he pitches, the pitcher has ZERO to do with how many runs his team scores.

David O'Brien

June 20th, 2012
11:28 pm

I know this news sucks, but Beach is not a ace pitcher DOB. The guy is at .500 with a 5-5 record. Yes he has the best ERA in baseball, but I would rather have a guy who is 17-5 with a 4.00 era at the end of the season versus a guy who is 11-11 with a 2.00 era. Its all about wins and losses… — BravesfaninWis

No, it’s not. Sorry, but that’s just antiquated and wrong. But if you feel that way, no worries. Just don’t expect me to agree, because I couldn’t disagree more.

Chop Chop

June 20th, 2012
11:34 pm

Well, that sucks for Beachy. At least he won’t have the regression he was due for. Yippee.

Brave Decisions

June 20th, 2012
11:35 pm

http://wp.me/p2lqJ1-8N Rotation Problems and Solutions

Chop Chop

June 20th, 2012
11:35 pm

Of course, maybe the torn ligament in the elbow was the Baseball Gods’ way of implementing their own regression? If true, how sad.

jo killa

June 20th, 2012
11:38 pm

we r going to miss beachy but im excited to see what jj brings to the rotation GO BRAVES beachy will be missed greatly though

YoungerThan ThatNow

June 20th, 2012
11:43 pm

Thanks for the info DOB… not the kind of news you enjoy putting out there, I know, even when it’s not a surprise. But you do your job well and keep us informed as much as possible.

There’s not a team in baseball that wouldn’t take a chance on Brandon Beachy today… even with today’s diagnosis and news! Some may not consider him an “ace” but anybody who’s seen or played much baseball could see his potential a year ago, in addition to what he’s done this season. He’ll be back, and I’m believing that he’ll be back stronger than ever.

And Fred… I’ll bet you a cookie that it’s well before 2014!

Cheesehead is a Moron

June 20th, 2012
11:43 pm

Wisconsin dude – you are nuts. That’s cool though because Obama needs your vote. Keep thinking that logic you be thinking. Put the sharp knives away though…

chem

June 20th, 2012
11:44 pm

W-L record is perhaps the most meaningless stat in all of sports.

Keith Moon Lives

June 20th, 2012
11:44 pm

Beachy is absolutely one of the top pitchers in baseball. Anyone who doesn’t think so, knows nothing about the game !

23rd!

June 20th, 2012
11:45 pm

Yea! We just need to be healthy enough at the end of the year, get a wild card and try to hit some and we’ll have a chance. Cards do it all the time. It’s a lonnnnnnnnggggg (too long) season. Thanks DOB.

23rd!

June 20th, 2012
11:46 pm

Oh And Keith Moon ROCKS!

WhoRu?

June 20th, 2012
11:48 pm

Beachy has 93 mph with movement, excellent control and great location. Heck yeah we need him! Hope Jar Jar (Jair) gets it done. Just afraid it’s not all in his knees now that he’s down to high 80’s on fastball. Let’s beat the Sox!

Dirty Dawg

June 21st, 2012
12:03 am

Seems to me there’s some kind of ‘cloud’ hanging over our doubled-up pitchers. First it was KK, then JJ and now BB. What say we find out what their, at least Jair and Brandon, middle (or other) names are and start using em?

Scottbravesfan

June 21st, 2012
12:04 am

Bravesfaninwis,

Win loss record for a pitcher is by far the most meaningless stat in the sport. A guy could pitch 9 innings every night, striking out every batter, and not giving up any runs and still not get the win. A closer comes in and blows a save but his team scores the next inning to give the home team the win, the closer failed to do his job, but is rewarded with the win. It’s by far the worst stat, maybe in all of sports.

Alaska Braves Fan

June 21st, 2012
12:10 am

FireRogerMcdowelldotcom: Will we all die? Will the world come to an end? Fiery deaths for everyone? Perhaps Beachy will have an average recovery time – AVERAGE, YOU HEAR – and be back in no fewer than 14 months, which means July, 2013.

It’s a sad loss, but today’s pitchers are different sorts of athletes from the old-style guys, like Early Wynn, Whitey Ford, etc. They are super-charged, compared to the older generation, and they throw vibrant stuff. Also, they are expected to hold the other team to three or fewer runs for six innings. In the old days, most pitchers gave up more runs and pitched for more innings, but at lower velocities and with fewer sharp-breaking pitches. We have more elbow injuries because our guys are deliveriing more extreme pitches.

NONETHELESS, we also have a radically different solution, Tommy John surgery. Like so many others, Beachy will have the surgery, do the rehab, and come back as strong as ever. And, THE SKY WILL NOT FALL!! It would be better if we still had him in the rotation, but the glass still is more than half full.

ABF

Alaska Braves Fan

June 21st, 2012
12:12 am

Oops! I meant no MORE than 14 months! Typing too fast for my fingers.

ABF

meeeee

June 21st, 2012
1:05 am

@BravesfaninWis: hehehe you are a completly idiot ,,,you are CLUELESS about BASEBALL!!

for rate one pitcher the most important stat is ERA no WINS

for example: Derek Lowe won 15+ games in 2009 and 2010 with ERA over 4.00 in overall
Brandon Beachy : 5-5 with ERA in 2.00 (best in MLB)

why is that?????

RUN SUPPOURT!!!! Beachy lost games with 3 or less runs of suppourt…example first game in nationals park series this month NATIONALS 3 BRAVES 1 ….only 2 runs for beachy the other one for the bullpen

Lowe won a lot of games with 5 or more runs of suppourt….example: 2010 opening day
final score braves 16 cubs 5

and that dont means Lowe is better than Beachy..PERIOD

what you can do if your team dont score runs??? OK

NickB

June 21st, 2012
4:39 am

ERA is a decent stat for pitchers FIP (fielding independent pitching) is a great comparative tool to use along with ERA (the further the 2 are apart, the more you can expect regression).

Also, K%, BB%, HR% and GB% are good things to look at

Hoss10

June 21st, 2012
5:19 am

Am I the only one who has a little bit of faith in Jurrjens?! I think once he gets settled in, he could be plenty serviceable with a 3.50-sub 4.00 ERA? Sure his ERA wasn’t great in AAA and he was horrible his few starts up with the Braves, but he’s improved. His velocity has picked up, and he has to realize this is a big opportunity for him and that he must show up to not only continue his days in an ATL uniform, but his career as a whole.

[...] few that I like… – Brandon Beachy will be out for some time due to Tommy John surgery. – A consensus has been reached for a BCS playoff. – The full-length [...]

Buddy Landel

June 21st, 2012
6:53 am

BravesFan in Wisonsin- it’s embarrassing to have a fellow Braves fan that out of tune.

On that note, FW is surely at work as we speak exploring trade opportunities.

longtimefan

June 21st, 2012
7:06 am

AlaskaBravesFan-good post. BravesFaninWis-you continue to post illogical statements.

Steve From Dalton

June 21st, 2012
7:07 am

DOB do you think Tommy John will ever make the baseball Hall of Fame? If John did not take the risk, think how may ballplayers careers would have ended way too soon. Dr Andrews should also be given he due in the HOF

MikeY

June 21st, 2012
7:12 am

Rather than trade for a high-priced starter, I would prefer to move Medlen to the rotation (would make him happier), and trade for a good reliever. Will cost us a lot less in prospects and cash, and solves our problem.

Murdock

June 21st, 2012
7:29 am

Is this the AJC or a Gainesville, FL paper???? Everytime I click on a link to read a story the UF banner for football tickets pops up. Do they not have enogh people in Floriday to fill up the stadium??? Sad. Enough to make me toss up my eggs in the morning seeing those colors.

space monkey

June 21st, 2012
8:05 am

We need Dempster. Garza is another finesse guy. We need somebody who can ruin another team’s day, not throw them batting practice. Power pitching is what we need.

tp

June 21st, 2012
8:10 am

Best wishes, Brandon. You’ll be back before you know it – and with a little extra zip on your fastball with thenew ligament! With the extra time you’ll have on your hands, I suggest seeking out Greg Maddux with the hopes that he can show you how to throw his changeup. Learn to throw that and a Cy Young is in your future!

a fan

June 21st, 2012
8:34 am

Even the great Greg Maddux, who won well over 300 games would tell you wins and losses are less important then just giving your team a chance to win.

dean

June 21st, 2012
8:36 am

The news obviously stinks.
A very wise and successful businessman once told me, “People get on and people get off, but that train is going to keep on rolling. And that includes me.”

Adapt and overcome. Nobody is larger than the whole. Somebody is going to step up. Who is it gonna be?

Bill

June 21st, 2012
8:38 am

Dempster will be a free agent with very high salary plus bonus and no-trade contract..2 or 3 prospects..on DL..don’t believe Braves what that problem. But I,d like to have him otherwise.
Matt Garza sound like very good deal if they could work it out.

braveshoo

June 21st, 2012
8:44 am

The Braves have been robbed before in trades, and I dont want to see it happen again. To take Beachy’s place, you have internal options: JJ, Medlen, and Tehran. Some of these guys just need to play. They are young and will get better. Good examples are Heyward, Freeman, Prado, Simmons, Delgado and Beachy himself. Let the young guys play this year. Next year when we have a lot of extra money available will be our year. The key will be how our young players develop, And whether Frank Wrenn spends our extra money wisely in the offseason.

Disbott3000

June 21st, 2012
8:48 am

Some people. Really. There is so much that can happen in a game to cause a team to loe that have nothing to do with how the pitcher performs, that it seems ridiculous to say a pitchers won-loss record is all that matters. The starter can have a .90 ERA, I mean be LIGHTS OUT, but if his teammates commit a large number of errors and the lineup hits like my great-grandma, then his won-loss won’t reflect how well he has pitched.

Beachy’s very good and only going to get better and I think we’ll really miss him the rest of this season. Get well, Beach.

Nurse Ratched [aka Randal Patrick McMurphy]

June 21st, 2012
8:50 am

Oh, here we go. A built-in excuse for later this season for Wren & Havana Fats; if/when the excrement hits the circular oscillator, you’ll hear the moaning “well, Brandon Beachy was on the DL. If only {yadda yadda yadda – blah blah blah}…” – as if that should save their sorry a**-s from the Reapers Axe. The drama never ends with this team, and a season that started on wobbly wheels has just turned into a Train Wreck…

You gotta feel for this kid, tho. He’s a class act and real player – REAL damn shame. All the best, Brandon, and may you recover with all your skills 100% intact and continue your career right where you left off… \m/_==_

dean

June 21st, 2012
8:53 am

Laugh at me if you want, but if Minor can get over that 5th inning freak out he’s dealing with he’ll be the one.

Brownie

June 21st, 2012
9:02 am

Braves are still in transition, and showing that the young guys can play a little – this is not the time to trade away the prospects to bring in a rental pitcher. it was said correctly above, the Braves have stockpiled young pitching talent just for this very scenario.

Hudson, Hanson, Delgado, Minor (pitching much better), Teheran, Medlin gives you plenty to select from for the remainder of the year WITHOUT getting rid of a couple of players you’re gonna want next year. If you need to bring in anyone, make it a lower cost reliever – less risk.

Does anyone really think Garza would be the difference-maker, and worth trading guys away?

Hubert

June 21st, 2012
9:05 am

Braves Fan in Wisconsin,

Don’t you know that having a low ERA is more important than winning the game? Sheesh, it’s all about fantasy stats and WHIP & ERA are two categories and WINS is only one. Those guys who stay out there for 8 or 9 innings just to get the win are overrated. What is more valuable is someone who gasses it for 5 innings and leaves before he gets tired. Sure, you might lose the game, but stats matter more (Clay Buccholz is 8-2, but Beachy is 5-5 with a better ERA. The Braves might be worse off by 3 games head-to-head, but they look better losing those games than the Sox do winning their games). Get your priorities right!!

Hubert

June 21st, 2012
9:06 am

Oh yeah, Clay Buccholz is pitching this weekend. Where is Beachy?

BravesFan

June 21st, 2012
9:08 am

BravesfaninWis – you couldnt be more out of touch with baseball….W-L record, while glamorous to the Sunday paper stat reader, really has zero indication as to how well a pitcher is pitching. You got to look at ERA, WHIP, Ks/walks. A good W/L record comes mostly from the pitcher’s team OFFENSE. A guy with an ERA of 2.00 gives you more then twice the better chance of winning a ball game then a guy with a ERA of 4.00.

Kashi

June 21st, 2012
9:11 am

I wish IDIOT*s doctors in our team would have MRI before let him pitch after complaining of sore arm.

space monkey

June 21st, 2012
9:15 am

Braveshoo: This is the year. Next year we lose Bourn and we lose Chipper. So we have no CF, no leadoff hitter, no speed, and no left fielder (as Prado moves to third). Next year is a disaster. The Braves need to win this year. They have a team that can do it. But they need at least one shutdown pitcher in the rotation. We don’t have anybody who can hang with Strasburg or Kershaw. Need a power arm and it will cost us some prospects.

BravesFan

June 21st, 2012
9:21 am

@space monkey – I dont think there is any pitcher out there that is worth the prospects. Gazra is over rated in my eye and no better then Medlen or Tehran. Hamels is about the only guy i would give prospects up for (and not even top 3 prospects) but 1) Phils wouldn’t deal him to Braves 2) he would be a rental 3) odd are he wont even be available. Dempster is on the DL so he is a huge risk at this point.

Bill

June 21st, 2012
9:23 am

How many more Braves’ pitchers will “bit the dusts” before they Fire McDowell?

After reviewing Garza records..forget it.

Don

June 21st, 2012
9:23 am

Mr. O’Brien, I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
There is a HUGE ELEPHANT in the room, and you and all the writers are IGNORING it.
The MOST SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM, THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE PROBLEM in the HISTORY of the Braves or any major leage team NOW EXISTS and it is being ignored.
For CRYING OUT LOUD – in the 7 years since Leo left and McDowell has been the Pitching Coach – there has been a very large number of different Starting Pitchers – and almost EVERY ONE of them has ended up BEING INJURED.
ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE — almost EVERY STARTING PITCHER ending up being INJURED in a SEVEN YEAR PERIOD.
With the young (already established as being great) Starting Pitchers the Braves had just in recent years, they should have been SET FOR YEARS TO COME. Now this is DESTROYED.
Just this year, FOUR of their FIVE Starters from last year were comming off INJURIES, and now the brightest spot on their team – BEACHY.
And this is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG — Of all the large number of different Starters that they have had in the SEVEN YEAR period – almost EVERY ONE has ended up being INJURED.
Sure, in a seven years period, any major league team is probably going to have some pitchers injured — but almost ALL OF THEM – this is ABSURD.
For HEAVENS SAKE, Mr. O’BRIEN – SAY SOMETHING – How can you ignore this – Are you and the other writers COVERING THIS TEAM OR NOT??????????

Don Corleone

June 21st, 2012
9:26 am

In the future, once the Braves have evaluated a minor league pitcher as having ML talent, they should just go ahead and send them to Dr. Andrews for the Tommy John procedure………..because it seems like they are going to all have the surgery at some point anyway. Let’s get it done before they get to the bigs; whether they need it or not.

D man

June 21st, 2012
9:26 am

This stinks, Beachy was going to lead us to the playoffs and now he’s done. I don’t have a lot of confidence in our chances now… :(

Don

June 21st, 2012
9:29 am

I should have added one thing.
Granted, it is possible that the main fault for this could rest with the manager rather than the Pitching Coach.
That is Leo may have followed his own program for conditioning and handling pitchers without considering input from the manager. Whereas, McDowell could possibly following managers’ instructions.

BravesFan

June 21st, 2012
9:34 am

@Don – stop yelling. Leo’s pitching staff had their fair share of injuries also. It wasnt just Smoltz, Glaven, Maddox on the hill. Injuries are a part of a pitchers game. I believe it is a product of how these pitchers GROW UP pitching. their delivery is flawed, and somewhere along the line (prep ball, high school, college) a coach doesn’t have the guts to change it because he is “pitching fine now”. No one is worried about their future. And once you get to Pro Ball, the last thing a pitcher will want to do is change his delivery. Google the inverted w pitching mechanics.

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
9:35 am

“today’s pitchers are different sorts of athletes from the old-style guys, like Early Wynn, Whitey Ford, etc. They are super-charged, compared to the older generation, and they throw vibrant stuff.”

Better than these?

Nolan Ryan
Steve Carlton
Jim Bunning
Bob Gibson
Don Drysdale
Sandy Koufax
Ferguson Jenkins
Tom Seaver

And that’s not counting guys like these, who may not have had that “hot stuff”

Catfish Hunter (one of 3 pitchers to win 200 games before the age of 31)(Young and Mathewson)
Jim Palmer
Gaylord Perry
Juan Marichal

beachcomber

June 21st, 2012
9:36 am

This is tough. Thought Beachy would be the last guy have have arm/elbow problems given his clean mechanics. Will need a third vet to pair with H&H to get us to the promised land. Making him left handed wouldn’t hurt either.

Bob Gibson

June 21st, 2012
9:43 am

The reason today’s pitchers are breaking down is because they’re soft wimps.

PS: I like to throw at the batter head.

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
9:45 am

MLB lowered the mound after 1968 because of Bob Gibson’s overpowering stuff. 13 shutouts, 28 complete games, 1.12 ERA and struck out 17 in game 1 of the World Series. If he had some run support, he could have gone33-1. He lost 5 1-0 games. These aren’t all old dead guys, either. I’ve got the original, bought-with-a penny-rookie cards for several of them (including Gibson.)

Bill

June 21st, 2012
9:45 am

Google McDowell out of here…

Bill

June 21st, 2012
9:46 am

Agree Don..keep the blogs coming.

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
9:47 am

Marichal was a bit aggressive and hot-tempered. John Roseboro of the Dodgers had some words for him at the plate, and Marichal whacked him in the head with the bat.

Disaffected

June 21st, 2012
9:49 am

We can survive the loss of Beachy, but it’s going to take Jurrjens being able to pitch respectably and Medlen being able to give us something approximating what he gave us two years ago, which was a solid 5 or 6 innings every time out.

I’d move Minor to the bullpen. With his ability to miss bats (a skill he hasn’t lost this year despite his struggles), he’s better suited for short relief than Medlen. We all love Medlen, but the truth is that he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire pitching out of the bullpen. Let’s give Minor a chance in that role and see how he does. You could use him to start innings, to face lefties, or to mop up. He could be a very versatile guy out of the ‘pen. And if he performs well, then he’d be in line to move back into the rotation when more injuries inevitably occur.

Tumbledown

June 21st, 2012
9:49 am

Don: Even though I have been following your posts the last couple of months, I’m a litle unclear about what you really think about the Braves’ pitching since Mazzone left and McDowell took over. You need to tell us what you really think. Don’t hold back.

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
9:55 am

Two guys in those lists had arm trouble. Koufax retired early with arthritis in the elbow, and Catfish pitched only 11 good years before he wore out due to diabetes and so many innings. I lived in Oakland while he was there. Charlie Finley signed him to a starting job right out of high school.

Whiskey River

June 21st, 2012
9:56 am

Good morning Tumbledown Should we give them 2 cookies today. None for Mccann or the Boss.

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
10:09 am

I posted yesterday about how pitchers are trained and employed these days, and how some of the guys who pitched in the ’90s and last decade disagree with that training, including the pitching mechanics. The ‘73 A’s team while I was in Oakland won the World Series. They carried 9 pitchers on the staff; 5 starters. Hunter, Blue and Holtzman each won over 20 games, and Rollie Fingers was a dominant closer. couple of games. The relievers were spot starters, and even Fingers started a couple of games.

DenizenoftheDay

June 21st, 2012
10:14 am

DOB – Thanks as always for the good work. I’d be curious as to your thoughts as to why the Braves seem to be so much better, at least offensively, on the road than at home….and not just this year. The numbers may refute that but the perception is that they play with more focus on the road than at home. That may serve them well come WC time, if they get there. I can’t figure this team out. They are so streaky. Let’s just hope they get on one of those streaks in September/October and win this thing.

JK

June 21st, 2012
10:16 am

What is going on here? All of our young pitchers have Tommy John surgery or become incapable of pitching. McDowell??????? What is going on here? Someone needs to be accountable for the problems we are having developing our pitchers both physically and mentally.

ACE

June 21st, 2012
10:19 am

Don you can forget DOB calling out Roger or Fredi. He doesn’t want to get throwed from the Harley rides during the off season. I bet Larry Drew wishes DOB covered the Hawks, that way he could get a pass on the decisions he makes too.

Don

June 21st, 2012
10:19 am

Braves Fan, Sorry, but you seem to be missing the main point.
No one is saying that there were not some injuries under Leo. Smoltz had sevreral – but mostly at an advanced age.
But the point is – that in the last SEVEN years, almost EVERY Braves Starting Pitcher has ended up being injured – (and this INCLUDES the YOUNG ONES)
Almost ALL of them being INJURED is the UNACCPTABLE thing.

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
10:20 am

How about the Nats? Zimmerman and Strasburg had the surgery.

jim

June 21st, 2012
10:24 am

Don,
If you did some research you would find there were plenty of pitchers who had significant arm injuries under Leo, includding John Smoltz and Steve Avery. There were also several pitchers like David Nied, Alejandro Pena, and Spoonybarger who broke down immediately after leaving the Braves. I doubt if McDowell’s throwing regimen is any different from any of the other MLB pitching coaches today, and no other team having significant injuries to their pitchers (the Toronto Blue Jays is the first team that springs to mind) is putting in a hurry up call to Leo. Isn’t it a bit curious that since Leo was dumped by the Orioles that no other MLB team has brought him in to their organization? If Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz put Bobby Cox in the Hall of Fame, they have also contributed greatly to the legend of Leo.

OTP

June 21st, 2012
10:24 am

So sad for Beachy. He will come back strong.
But, please do not obtain someone on the disabled list, for Pete’s sake!

BravesFan

June 21st, 2012
10:28 am

@Don – so you actually blame this on McDowell ? you dont think it has anything to do with they way they threw 90% of their life time pitches BEFORE they came to the braves? McDowell is obviously not changing they way they have pitched their entire lives. maybe he is just your scape goat. why not blame it on Fredi G while your at it. in fact, its all his fault. Its even his fault my that my car uses too much gas.

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
10:29 am

Even that young kid Jamie Moyer (young, relative to me, anyway) had the surgery a couple of years ago.

Whiskey River

June 21st, 2012
10:32 am

Why is everyone blaming pitching coaches? It happens. Live with it.

BravesFan

June 21st, 2012
10:34 am

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
10:35 am

Moyer is an obvious exception, but a lot of guys had the ligament starting to wear even before high school. It has always been a point of interest to me that many guys come back from the surgery with the same velocity they had before. Beachy may return late next year strong. Again, look at Strasburg.

Morning Reads for Thursday, June 21st

June 21st, 2012
10:37 am

[...] few that I like… – Brandon Beachy will be out for some time due to Tommy John surgery. – A consensus has been reached for a BCS playoff. – The full-length [...]

Bob Gibson

June 21st, 2012
10:44 am

Tip for Today’s Pitchers: Dust them. Put them on the ground. You don’t have to throw 95 mph all the time if you throw at the head.

Rick

June 21st, 2012
10:46 am

Good luck BB! We will see you this time next year!

OTP

June 21st, 2012
10:46 am

So, they go sign D.J. Carrasco. Another has-been, with a 7 ERA. Right, he’ll fit right in.

Gene

June 21st, 2012
10:51 am

Too bad for Beachy and the Braves. I hope that he recovers He is a talented pitcher. The Braves regained a little self respect with the two wins over the Yankees. It would be nice for the Braves to contend for the post season, but I would just like to see them play some hard baseball and get fired up, like Heyward.

DawgDad

June 21st, 2012
10:52 am

“W-L record is perhaps the most meaningless stat in all of sports.”

Really? Might want to compare the W-L records of the pitchers in the Hall of Fame with those who aren’t.

W-L records absolutedly are NOT meaningless. Winning is the main team objective. The issue is W-L records ALONE do not always accurately reflect a player’s contribution to winning, because of the way wins and losses are attributed (each game only one player gets the “win” and one the “loss”, yet it is a team sport).

Beachy’s 5-5 record, in contrast to his league-leading ERA, DOES reflect something about him as a pitcher. It reflects his inability to complete games or get to the closer on a consistent basis.

Don

June 21st, 2012
10:54 am

I appreciate some of you explaining this.
I finally UNDERSTAND now – We should ACCEPT THE FACT that almost EVERY BRAVES Starting Pitcher is now going to be INJURED.
After all PITCHING is not that IMPORTANT, anyway.
And we all know that once a PITCHER is seriously INJURED, he always comes back to once again be great. (True, many injured Pitchers do come back and be good – but there is a BIG DIFFERENCE in being GOOD and returning to their former GREATNESS)
So all the BRAVES need to play CHAMPIONSHIP baseball is about TWENTY great young Starting Pitchers – and perhaps we can win another W.S. before we can run them all through the INJURY MILL that has been in operation since Leo left.

jim

June 21st, 2012
10:56 am

Irrespective of the ERA vs W-L record discussion earlier, back in the 40’s and 50’s there were Minor League pitchers (like Warren Spahn to name one) who won 20 or more games in a season. What this signifies more than anything was that minor leaguers were not held to low pitch counts and strict innings limitations. Many of these guys went on to become the durable stars of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. If people like Don are going to look for a reason why so many pitchers today break down, rather than jump to the first coincidence they see, they may look to the changing philosophy about developing pitchers. (Minor leaguers in the pre-free agency, pre-draft period did not cost the team big bucks and were not babied like high draft picks today.) A better study would be to look at the incidence of arm injuries between pitchers drafted out of high school and college. College coaches are interested in winning games and will use a pitcher to the maximum extent necessary to do that, especially in the tournaments at the end of the year. Pitchers drafted out of high school are sent to the minors where the emphasis is purely on development and are handled with extreme care (babied?) during those first 3 years. Do high school draftees break down more or less often than college picks, or at the same rate?

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
10:58 am

I pulled some information together yesterday on pitchers who went directly from high school to the majors. Before the MLB draft, from the late ’40s through the mid ’60s, teams bid on players, and those that received over a certain amount (Bonus Babies) had to spend their first 2 years in the majors. Catfish Hunter was one of those guys. My list included guys from 1955 and after, as the rule was stopped and started a few times. Some of the guys did pretty well, but there were some that didn’t. David Clyde, for example. He was in the majors for 5 years, but he had arm trouble the whole time. Mike Morgan retired in 2002, having played for 12 teams over 25 years, a record at the time.

Some of the guys were barely used the 1st two years and then were sent down to the minors to develop. One guy, Bob Miller is an interesting case. He signed with the Dodgers in 1963, and eventually played for 10 different teams, 3 who won the World Series, and 2 others who won division and league championships. He also played with a few 100-loss teams. He was injured so much during his entire career that when he played with the Blue Jays, the pitching coach (and former teammate) Roy Hartsfield nicknamed him “The Christian” because he suffered so much. He always had a sore arm, but when one of the other guys went down with a sore arm, he would “come in and suffer a few innings.”

Delbert D.

June 21st, 2012
11:08 am

@jim – There was a time, fairly recently, that MLB teams preferred high school pitchers over college pitchers for that reason. The simply had not had as many pitches thrown. I think that is changing with the success of guys coming back from the ulnar ligament replacement surgery. Again, Strasburg. Clearly the best pitcher in the draft at the time, and he was a college guy. You roll the dice on injury, but when you have pretty solid data that it costs just a year, why not. There hae been stories in the news about parents wanting their sons to have the surgery in their early teens to maximize their draft appeal. That is sad.

jim

June 21st, 2012
11:08 am

Jumping in to the ERA vs W-L record discussion.
The W-L record had more significance prior to roughly 1980 than it does today. Good starters back then completed 50% or more of the games they started. A good W-L record indicated that a pitcher was mentally tough enough to get by on days he did not have his best stuff and to out-duel his rival in those 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 type of games. Since the 80’s and particularly in this century, most pitchers rarely go more than 7-8 innings, and get a decision in a lower percentage of their starts. A good W-L record still does indicate that you were better than the other guy in most of your starts, and that still does have a lot of significance.

David O'Brien

June 21st, 2012
11:13 am

Don you can forget DOB calling out Roger or Fredi. He doesn’t want to get throwed from the Harley rides during the off season. — ACE

Roger doesn’t ride a motorcycle, that I’m aware of. But I’ve had no interaction with him outside of occasional baseball questions, so I can’t be sure.

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