The Atlanta Braves are plugging away in the National League East just 4.5 games behind the first-place Washington Nationals. They are also right in the thick of the Wild Card race just 0.5 games behind the surprising New York Mets. But if they are going to catch both the Nationals and Mets they might have to do it without Brandon Beachy for the rest of the year.
Beachy's season may be over
According to Mark Bowman on Twitter, the 25-year-old righty has a partially torn UCL in his right elbow. He will visit Dr. James Andrews today to get a second opinion and see whether or not he needs Tommy John surgery.
Despite having just a .500 record (5-5), Beachy was having one heck of a year for the Braves and if he is indeed toast for the year, this is a big loss for them. Beachy had a 2.00 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and a 1.9 WAR in 13 starts. In terms of production, you could make the argument Beachy was the Braves best pitcher so far this season.
In terms of replacing Beachy, the Braves will look to Jair Jurrjens and pray to the baseball Gods that he can remember how to pitch like a Major League starting pitcher. Jurrjens was terrible in his first four starts of the year, compiling a 9.37 ERA and gave up five HR’s in 16.1 IP. He really wasn’t that much better in nine Triple-A starts. He gave up 68 hits in just 56.1 IP and had a 5.27 ERA.
I think this injury puts the Braves in the market for a starting pitcher. Outside of Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson, they don’t have another pitcher who they can trust on a day in and day out basis. And the reality is, Hudson hasn’t been that consistent since his return from the DL.
The Issue the Braves and other teams for that matter are going to have at the trade deadline is that with so many teams still alive, finding a starting pitcher worth acquiring might be hard to find. That being said, if they are healthy come July, I could see the Braves making a run at a No.3 type starting pitcher like Kevin Millwood or Bartolo Colon.
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