In news that was all but inevitable, the Braves confirmed today that right-hander Brandon Beachy will undergo season-ending Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery tomorrow. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttache in Los Angeles.
Like teammate Kris Medlen, who went under the knife earlier this week, this will be the second Tommy John surgery of Beachy’s career. However, while Medlen went 3 1/2 years between procedures, this will be Beachy’s second in the span of 21 months.
Beachy posted an excellent 3.07 ERA over his first 41 starts in the majors prior to his first Tommy John surgery in June of 2012, which was performed by Dr. James Andrews. There’s been nothing but frustration since. His return to the majors last season was delayed due to elbow inflammation and he made just five starts prior to having a bone chip removed in late September. Now the 27-year-old faces another lengthy rehab process which will likely sideline him through the early part of next season. Here’s hoping he can still deliver on some of that early promise.
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.