Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon Beachy may have been unlucky twice, but this time he’s not taking any chances.
After undergoing two Tommy Johnny surgeries — in 2012 and 2014 — Beachy is reluctant to accept his elbow injuries have come as a result of bad luck. Instead, he’s been proactive in his approach to the rehabilitation process, exploring every avenue to ensure he won’t suffer the ligament damage a third time, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
I read every article I could find, watched every YouTube expert I could find,” said Beachy, who was looking for clues as to why he was one of 39 players since 1996 to need the ligament-replacement surgery a second time – and for hints to minimize the chances of his new ligament giving out as well. “Everybody thinks they’ve got their thumb on something and none of them do. I just tried to take away anything that I thought could be helpful.”
Beachy added his previous experience with the Tommy John surgery resulted in a different mindset the second time around:
I had Tommy John once. I followed everything you’re supposed to do and it happened again. It might have been bad luck. But it didn’t make sense to me to do it all over again the same way just hoping it was bad luck.”
The Dodgers signed Beachy to a one-year, $2.75 million deal with a team option for 2016 in February. When healthy, the 28-year-old right-hander has been excellent.
In 2011, his rookie season with the Atlanta Braves, he posted a 3.68 ERA with 169 strikeouts. Morevoer, his xFIP (3.16) was the 10th-best in the Majors, and his strikeouts per nine innings (10.74) was also the best in baseball. In 2012 he had a 2.00 ERA in 13 starts.
Despite the Dodgers’ need for starting pitchers due to injuries to Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy, the team isn’t rushing Beachy back. He is expected to return around June or July, and if he stays healthy, he’s proven to be a capable starting pitcher.