Brandon Beachy throws for first time since elbow surgery

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Brandon Beachy was leading the league in ERA when he was shut down with an elbow injury in June and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Yesterday the Braves right-hander threw for the first time since going under the knife, telling Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he “felt giddy, like a little kid” and “it was fun.”

In this case “throwing” means simply playing catch from a distance of about 30 feet, so Beachy is a long way from re-entering the Braves’ plans, but as he said “it’s better than nothing.”

A typical recovery timetable would potentially make him an option for the Braves around midseason, although that’s far from guaranteed even if Kris Medlen’s amazing return from Tommy John surgery has everyone thinking about best-case scenarios.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.