ATLANTA — Kokomo’s Brandon Beachy was “excited and relieved” after finding out he is dealing with inflammation in his surgically repaired right elbow rather than structural damage.
Beachy, a right-handed pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, received the news during a visit to Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Andrews performed Tommy John surgery on Beachy in June 2012.
“He confirmed what I’ve been hoping,” Beachy said Tuesday . “He just thought it was inflamed, a lot of fluid in there. The ligament is intact and it’s good news.”
The 26-year-old Beachy made a series of minor league rehab assignments this year before rejoining the Braves on July 29. He owns a 2-1 record and 4.50 ERA in five starts since returning to the bigs.
The Braves placed the 2005 Northwestern High School graduate on the 15-day disabled list Thursday after he experienced discomfort and a drop in velocity in a start against the New York Mets on Aug. 20. Following Andrews’ advice, they will shut him down for 10 days and then re-evaluate.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters it was too early to know whether he’ll use Beachy in a starting or relieving role when the pitcher returns. Beachy noted his preference is to start, but added he just wants to contribute to his team in some way as it pushes for the postseason.
The Braves entered Tuesday with the best record in baseball and a commanding 13-game lead in the National League East.
“Obviously I think of myself as a starter, and plan to be a starter in the future but I’m no dummy,” Beachy said. “You look at the timing of everything, I’m willing to help this team any way I can. Obviously my first priority is making sure I’m healthy and then beyond that helping this team win is paramount.”
Beachy had a superb performance against the Miami Marlins on Aug. 9, tossing eight shutout innings and allowing just three hits, leading the Braves to a 5-0 win.
The Indiana Wesleyan University product has made 46 career starts and owns a 14-11 career record. He made his debut in the thick of a pennant race in 2010, a little more than two years after signing with the Braves as an undrafted free agent.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution contributed to this story.