PHILADELPHIA — Braves fans, you can resume the Brandon Beachy watch.
After recovering well from a 50-pitch bullpen session Saturday, Beachy will step things up with a rehab start Tuesday at Triple-A Gwinnett. It’ll be the Braves pitcher’s first game since his rehab assignment was shut down three weeks ago due to inflammation in his surgically repaired elbow.
The right-hander had “Tommy John” surgery 12-1/2 months ago and was scheduled to return June 18, but that was postponed due to soreness in what was to have been his last rehab start. Beachy had a 2.00 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 81 innings over 13 starts last season before season-ending surgery.
Before his rehab stint was put on hold, there had been much speculation on what the Braves would do to create an opening for Beachy on the major league staff.
That speculation will undoubtedly resume, particularly with the trade deadline in 3-1/2 weeks. The Braves, if Beachy is healthy, have six starters for a five-man rotation, and would either need to trade one or move one to the bullpen. Among their starters, only Kris Medlen has significant bullpen experience.
Beachy will likely get at least two or three more rehab starts before a move is made.
Gattis update: After a few days of hitting balls off a tee, throwing and running, rehabbing rookie slugger Evan Gattis was told to do only conditioning drills Sunday before he increases his activities Monday at Miami.
Gattis has been on the DL nearly three weeks with a strained oblique. The Braves are being careful with him and will probably wait until after the three-game series against the Marlins before having him take batting practice.
“I feel good. Feel like I could (take batting practice),” he said after doing some running on a steamy Sunday morning at Citizens Bank Park. “Just taking it slow.”
He said he understood the Braves being careful not to rush him.
“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “I want to come back and being healthy for the rest of the season.”