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.

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.