A lot of people were wrong about Brandon Beachy

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I was one of them.

Rookie right-hander Brandon Beachy came off the disabled list on Wednesday to strike out a career-high 11 batters in six innings against the Blue Jays.  The only run off him came courtesy of Jose Bautista’s major league-high 22nd homer.

Beachy, who missed a month with a strained left oblique, moved to 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP in nine starts this season.  In 12 starts since debuting last year, he has a 3.17 ERA.

Now, one doesn’t have to dig very hard to come up with pitchers who have started off their careers with a handful of good starts and quickly faded from there.  Some guys have just enough deception in their deliveries or a tricky enough breaking ball to excel once around the league and then fall apart soon thereafter.

Still, most of those guys weren’t striking out batters like Beachy has so far.  He has 72 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings as a major leaguer.  This year, he has a 57/14 K/BB ratio in 50 1/3 innings.

That’s exceptionally encouraging, and it suggests that Beachy is here so stay.  His fastball isn’t outstanding at 90-94 mph, but he has four legitimate pitches and very good command.  Since I didn’t see a true outpitch, I viewed him as maybe a fifth starter and more likely a middle reliever entering this season.  Now he looks much more like a legitimate No. 3.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.