Brandon Beachy Will Try to Write Tommy John History

Stuff”>Dodgers’ brain trust went out with their silver platter overflowing with cash and handed out millions upon millions upon millions of dollars to every historically injured pitcher they could uncover, the guy with the least chance of ever earning his new Dodgers’ bounty but with the biggest possible upside

should he actually be healthy enough to pitch for an extended period - like several full seasons, maybe - was Brandon Beachy.

Through his short tenure of toiling with the Atlanta Braves, Beachy showed that he had the savvy and control, if not the overpowering stuff (low-90s fastball topping out at 94, slow curve and change and occasional slider) to be a consistent winner in the bigs, and for a short time
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from late 2011 through early 2012, he showed more than flashes of what could be a solid middle of the rotation guy. In fact, in early 2012, through his first eight starts of the season, he was 5-1 with a sparkling 1.33 ERA. However, he has barely pitched another 50 innings thereafter, and when he takes the mound tonight in Dodgers’ Stadium it will be his first major league appearance since August of 2013.

The ever-increasing number of major league pitchers who undergo Tommy John surgery is stock full of guys who make it back and go on to have, or resume, solid, successful careers. However, that is true only for pitchers who undergo a single procedure. A growing number of pitchers unfortunately need to have the surgery repeated, and the stats for pitchers who have had it done twice are not nearly as encouraging. In fact, of the two or three dozen pitchers who have had two TJ operations, barely 40% have been able to pitch in at least 40 games thereafter. Even less encouraging is the fact that of all of those

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pitchers, only one, former Dodgers’ starter and current yankee reliever Chris Capuano, has started as many as ten major league games following a second Tommy John surgery.

Beachy underwent TJ surgery in June of 2012 and then again in March of 2014. The Dodgers still felt good enough about his future
chances in the majors to hand him $2.75 M for the 2015 season, almost double what Atlanta paid him in 2014 for not pitching, and knowing that any major league appearance, if at all, would not be before mid-season. Well, technically mid-season was a week ago, and Beachy will making his debut tonight in the Dodgers’ game number 89. He has looked pretty good in his rehab appearances, pitching 1-2/3 innings at Rancho Cucamonga then making four starts in Triple-A with Oklahoma City. Overall in 18-2/3 innings, he struck out 12 but walked ten. Also allowing 18 hits in that spam did, however, give him an astronomical WHIP. But, he had no ill effects, and has felt fine enough to face the Brewers tonight. If he hits a set number of starts by the end of this year, a contract option for 2016 could pay him as much as $6 M for next year.

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