God help the Atlanta Braves. Right in the middle of a three-game losing streak, the club has announced that an MRI performed on Brandon Beachy and his troublesome right elbow has revealed a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. Beachy will see the dreaded Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday to determine if he needs Tommy John surgery.
Beachy, who leads the Major Leagues with a 2.00 ERA, was placed on the 15-day disabled list and was examined by team orthopedic surgeon Xavier Duralde on Monday.
"It's kind of hard to be real optimistic right now," general manager Frank Wren said hours before the announcement.
Though Andrews may suggest waiting a few weeks to see if surgery is necessary, the rehabilitation time for the ligament-transplant surgery is 12-14 months, so delaying may even further impact Beachy's return in 2013.
The Braves had rested Beachy three extra days after his start June 8 against the Toronto Blue Jays because of soreness in his elbow. With his history of bone spurs, the club felt no need for an MRI at the time.
The real concern came Saturday when Beachy faced the Baltimore Orioles. He retired the first 11 batters he faced before walking Chris Davis. Beachy bounced two curveballs to the plate before delivering a fastball that was only clocked at 86 miles per hour, well below his usual 92-93 range.
To fill Beachy's spot in the rotation, the Braves will call up Jair Jurrjens to start Friday's game with the Boston Red Sox.
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