The first-place Atlanta Braves are getting closer to being even stronger in the starting rotation. Right-hander Brandon Beachy is set to make his first rehab appearance for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday night (MiLB.com).
Beachy was originally scheduled for his first rehab outing last Sunday, but the game was postponed due to rain. Since he's on a throwing program, he threw a three-inning simulated game Sunday and is now ready to take the hill.
Beachy, 26, was rounding into one of the better pitchers in the bigs last season before tearing his ulnar-collateral ligament and needing Tommy John surgery. He was 5-5 with a 2.00 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 68 strikeouts in 81 innings. He left his June 16 start with the injury, which ended his season.
Expect Beachy to make around two to four rehab starts in Triple-A and return around mid-June. When he does, it's unclear what the Braves will do with their rotation. Barring injury, the Braves have a solid five-man rotation of Kris Medlen, Tim Hudson, Mike Minor, Paul Maholm and Julio Teheran. Teheran is clearly the No. 5 on the depth chart, but he has huge upside and has been outstanding (3-1, 2.41 ERA) in his last five starts.
The Braves have won six in a row and hold a 4 1/2-game lead over the Nationals in the NL East.