Former Braves Beachy and Medlen are nearing a return

July 5, 2012 Atlanta – Atlanta Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy watches from the Braves dugout during the home game against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field in Atlanta on Thursday, July 5, 2012. Brandon Beachy has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that usually required ligament-transplant surgery and a rehabilitation period of 12-14 months. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

July 5, 2012 Atlanta - Atlanta Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy watches from the Braves dugout during the home game against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field in Atlanta on Thursday, July 5, 2012. Brandon Beachy has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that usually required ligament-transplant surgery and a rehabilitation period of 12-14 months. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Brandon Beachy after his first surgery. (Hyosub Shin/AJC photo)

Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, both Atlanta Braves starting pitchers, hurt their arms on consecutive days in spring 2014, necessitating a second Tommy John surgery for each. According to Jon Roegele’s comprehensive spreadsheet of TJ procedures, the Round 2s for Medlen and Beachy were performed three days apart. (Though by different doctors. Medlen went with James Andrews, Beachy with Neal ElAttrache.)

The recovery period for TJ is between 12 and 18 months. For Medlen and Beachy, it’s approaching 16 months. Sure enough, both are in line to return to the majors soon, neither as a Brave. (Thanks to J.J. Jansons of Baseball Prospectus for his informative “Stash List.”)

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports that Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has identified Beachy as a candidate to start Saturday’s game against Milwaukee.

Beachy has made five minor-league starts for the Dodgers, working 18 2/3 innings while yielding 18 hits and 10 walks. (This against 12 strikeouts.) His ERA is 2.45. In his last start, Beachy threw 92 pitches, somewith apparent oomph, per Eric Stephen of truebluela.

Medlen has made four minor-league starts for the Royals, working 17 2/3 innings while yielding 18 hits and three walks. He has been touched for five home runs and hit four batters. His ERA is 4.58. This week Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star tweeted:

The Braves cut Medlen and Beachy on the same day — Dec. 2, 2014 — because they weren’t sure what they’d be getting if they kept them. Guys tend to do well after Round 1 of TJ; they do much less well after Round 2. (Think Jonny Venters.) There’s thought that a guy coming off a second TJ won’t hold up as a starter, that any future will have to be as a reliever. (Think Jason Isringhausen, who went from being a promising starter to a splendid closer until he hurt his arm yet again.)

Had the Braves retained Medlen and Beachy, they’d have been obliged to pay at least $5.8 million — and perhaps much more, seeing as both were arbitration-eligible — for two suspect arms. Not that those arms hadn’t done terrific work here. In 2012, Medlen was 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA and an 0.913 WHIP. He didn’t make his first start of that season until July 31 because he was recovering from TJ Take 1, and a spot in the rotation was available in part because Beachy, who’d been leading the majors with a 2.00 ERA, was lost to TJ Take 1 on June 16.

Beachy signed with the Dodgers for one year at $2.75 million with a club option for next season. Medlen signed with the Royals for $2 million this season and $5.5 million next, with a mutual option for 2017. You can’t blame the rebuilding Braves for not wanting to commit such money to two guys who wouldn’t have been available until midsummer and whose health comes with no guarantees. (Not that anyone’s health ever does.)

But you’d have to say the two were most astute in picking their next teams. The Dodgers and Royals are in first place. The Dodgers and Royals also have holes in their rotations. There’s a chance we’ll be hearing a lot more about Beachy and Medlen before this season is done.

Reader Comments 1

24 comments
GWJ0525
GWJ0525

I wish them well. I just wonder what could have been done if anything to prevent all of these TJ injuries. With all of the emphasis on pitch counts and proper warming up, it just seems strange we have so many more of these injuries occurring now than in the past. Maybe it is just coincidence, but one has to wonder.

RangeRover
RangeRover

Beachy is better than any current Braves starter and both now get to work under a bonafide major league manager unlike the dimwitted dolt, Goober Gonzalez, they suffered through here in Atlanta.

LEWWHEEL
LEWWHEEL

Hope to hear good things about them this season and years to come.

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

I wish them both much success. It will be a huge uphill climb as the odds are not in their favor, after 2 TJ surgeries. The Braves made the best decision on both.

TallBaldGuy
TallBaldGuy

I hope they both come back and do well.  Liked them both when they were here and they are both very talented pitchers.  Hate it that Venters has not made it back after his injuries.  He was  a great reliever for us also.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

The Braves were smart for not taking those risks, but I'm happy for Kris and Brandon, good luck guys.  Any word on Venters yet, pulling for him as well. 

Been there
Been there

God bless Beechy and Medlen. I hope they get a ring for themselves. I wish them well! However, I totally support what John, John, Bobby and company are doing to the Atlanta Braves. This 50 year Braves fan has not been this excited since they made the Alexander for Smoltz trade.

Look is this the best you can do? seriously why don't you try writing something about the current Braves team.


Nothing against these guys but they don't wear our uniforms.


You are reaching, I find it hard to believe there is not a story in your head about our current players.


Come on man, you are fat and lazy. 

Buckhead Vol
Buckhead Vol

I was wondering where they both landed.  Nice article.  Good journalism.  Thanks MB

58Supersports
58Supersports

Glad they gone but wish them luck... would like to help them spend the money they got from Braves for nothing while the were out.....

EliasDenny
EliasDenny

Both men are good pitchers and I wish them good luck.

Decaturian
Decaturian

the should of, could of, would ofs with those two, sad they could of been the braves future, both seemed like pure class.

Bob_the_Blogger
Bob_the_Blogger

Best of luck to both pitchers, but I'm glad the Braves did not sink that kind of money into pitchers coming back from 2nd TJ surgeries. 

Goggy
Goggy

The Braves success rate with TJ pitchers over the last few years has been abysmal. They were unlikely to succeed here so I am glad they moved on and hope they both recover well.

AtlantaSportsVictory
AtlantaSportsVictory

I doubt we'll here "a lot more" about them. I mean, does anyone really care THAT much?

Already_Older
Already_Older

Thanks Mark for the update.  I had been wondering about them and how they were doing.

Already_Older
Already_Older

Best of luck to both of these guys. If you are taking about "the Braves way", these two guy exemplified it more than any two on the roster.  I hope both come back successfully.  I understand the business side, but I wish the Braves could have kept these guys.  Before they were hurt, I was really excited about the Braves future pitching.

jcarson
jcarson

Big fan of both.  I thought we should have gambled and given them both one more shot.  The money wasn't that huge.  We will see what happens.

mdet
mdet

@jcarson Yep, the Braves paid more for those bums Cahill & Stults!

JackClemens
JackClemens

Good luck to them. They were good guys, but I'm not disappointed the Braves let them go.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Always liked both of those guys. We couldn't and shouldn't have kept them but I wish them luck. FIRST.

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