As if the Braves hadn’t gotten enough bad news in the last day, Brandon Beachy, who returned from Tommy John surgery last month, will see Dr. James Andrews next week after experiencing a setback.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Beachy underwent an MRI on Wednesday, the results of which the Braves haven’t revealed.
Beachy was lit up in his first outing back for the Braves, but he had turned in four straight quality starts since and was 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA overall. Fortunately, the Braves are getting Paul Maholm back, so they still have five starters with Beachy absent. They were believed to be weighing sending Kris Medlen to the pen to make room for Maholm.
Beachy underwent Tommy John surgery on June 21, 2012. He started working in extended spring training games in mid-May and made his first minor league rehab start on May 24 this year before suffering a minor setback in June that got him shut down for a couple of weeks. That pushed back his timetable about a month before he was officially activated on July 29.
The standard recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-18 months, but these days, everyone seems to be aiming for 12, if not a little less. Diamondbacks right-hander Daniel Hudson underwent surgery on July 9, 2012, resumed pitching in the minors in mid-May of this year and then blew out his elbow again on June 5. He was trying to make it back in about 11 months. Beachy and the Braves were aiming for 12 months before his first setback. Perhaps pitchers and teams are getting too aggressive, especially given what’s at stake if there’s a setback.
In a last-second compromise before a scheduled heading today, first baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million deal.
Belt requested $7.5 million and the Giants countered at $5.3 million, so they’ve settled slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. Belt will be arbitration eligible again next season for the final time before hitting the open market as a free agent.
He’s coming off a very good season in which he hit .280 with 18 homers and an .834 OPS in 137 games and Belt has a lifetime .803 OPS through age 27, making him one of MLB’s most underrated all-around first baseman.
Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.
At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.
Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.
Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.
He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.
Flags fly forever! Hooray for The Process championship!
Ah, sorry. This is about as much rooting as I’ll get to do this year, so cut me some slack.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility. The top system: the Atlanta Braves. The bottom: the Los Angeles Angels, about whom Law says “I’ve been doing these rankings for eight years now, and this is by far the worst system I’ve ever seen.” Enjoy Mike Trout, though, you guys.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone. And though he drives me crazy sometimes, Buster Olney’s daily column/notes thing is also worth the money over the course of the year.