ERA leader Brandon Beachy to have Tommy John surgery

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Dr. James Andrews confirmed the initial diagnosis of a torn ulnar collateral ligament, so Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy will undergo season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery tomorrow.

Beachy went from undrafted free agent in 2008 to National League leader in ERA this season, posting a 2.00 mark with a 68/29 K/BB ratio in 81 innings. And he was excellent as a rookie last season too, starting 25 games with a 3.68 ERA and 169/46 K/BB ratio in 142 innings.

And now he’s facing 12-18 months on the sidelines, although at age 25 there’s plenty of time for Beachy to make his way back and reestablish himself as a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to rejoin the Braves’ rotation Friday against the Red Sox despite posting a 5.27 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.