Brandon Beachy on track to make 2013 debut June 18

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Brandon Beachy is almost fully recovered from last June’s Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.

According to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the right-hander threw five scoreless innings Wednesday afternoon in his second minor league rehab start with Low-A Rome and is currently in line to make his season debut for the Braves on June 18 — after only three more rehab outings.

“If there are no setbacks or anything, it would be a perfect fit,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of the current June 18 target date. “But we know about perfect fits, and that’s why I do all my stuff in pencil.”

Beachy has experienced no lingering discomfort in his surgically-repaired elbow up to this point. He had an ace-like 2.00 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 68/29 K/BB ratio in 81 innings last season before going under the knife.

Rob Manfred blames Bryce Harper for going unsigned

Bryce Harper
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Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.

No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.

Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:

Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.

Manfred didn’t stop there, however.

An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?