Brandon Beachy is close to joining the Dodgers’ rotation

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Brandon Beachy’s comeback from a second Tommy John elbow surgery is nearly complete, with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly telling Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register that “he’s feeling good and we’re feeling good about where he’s at.”

Beachy, who signed an incentive-laden deal with the Dodgers this offseason, has been rehabbing in the minors and could be cleared to join the rotation shortly after the All-Star break.

He hasn’t pitched in the majors since early 2013, but if healthy Beachy could make a big impact down the stretch. He had a 3.23 ERA in 268 innings for the Braves, striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings while holding opponents to a .220 batting average.

Mattingly indicated that the Dodgers may work him back into the mix slowly, which suggests long relief or mopping up could be his role initially. Los Angeles hold a team option on Beachy for 2016, so the Dodgers have reason to be somewhat cautious.

Ronald Acuña Jr. reaches a rare home run milestone

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Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 40th home run in today’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In so doing he become only the third player to hit 40 homers at age 21 or younger, joining Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Matthews, who hit 42 and 47, respectively, before turning 22. Ott was only 20 in fact.

Home run marks are a dime a dozen this year, of course, so maybe you want to discount Acuña’s accomplishment. Even if you do, though, you can’t discount his wheels. He didn’t have a stolen base this afternoon but he does have 37 on the year and has over a week to swipe three more. If he does he’ll become a member of the exclusive 40/40 club. It’s only current members: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.

The Braves win clinches at least a tie for the NL East title. They’ll clinch the division outright if either they win or the Nationals lose tomorrow.