After some back and forth Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced Brandon Beachy would indeed take the ball Saturday at Dodger Stadium against the Milwaukee Brewers. The start is Beachy’s first in the Majors since Aug. 20, 2013 when he was with the Atlanta Braves.
Mattingly suggested Wednesday Beachy was at the forefront of options to fill in for Carlos Frias’ spot in the rotation, then backed off his remarks Thursday and named Zach Lee as a candidate. “We just wanted to make sure he was ready to do it,” Mattingly said Friday. “We didn’t want to push that. He had some conversations with Farhan and the guys, and absolutely feels he’s ready to go.
“Really that’s what we needed to hear,” Mattingly continued. “We weren’t worried about the physical part, just more the mental side of it and it sounds like Brandon feels like he’s ready to go.” For Beachy, the road back has been an arduous one. “Endless and long, a lot of ups and downs,” he said of recovering from two Tommy John surgeries.
“It’s been 23 months approximately since I’ve been out there There were times I never thought I’d be there, and now I’m pretty close.” Beachy isn’t certain what to expect and couldn’t say if he’d be the same pitcher pre-surgery, but feels prepared. “I feel like I’m ready to compete at this level,” he said.
“There’s always that hurdle that’s only going to come from being on a big league mound and I can’t clear that until I get out there. I’m really excited.” Mattingly didn’t yet commit to Beachy getting a regular spot in the rotation out of the All-Star break. He wants to first see how the right-hander fares in his debut and monitor Frias’ recovery from lower back tightness.
Beachy went 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over five starts; one with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and four with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He allowed five runs (three earned) over six innings in his final rehab assignment while throwing 90 pitches in the outing, which Mattingly believes will roughly be the total he throws Saturday.