NEW YORK -- Brandon Beachy will meet with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday before learning whether he will need to undergo Tommy John surgery. But with confirmation that he has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the Braves are already planning for the possibility that he will not pitch the remainder of the season.
Jair Jurrjens will provide an immediate fix when he comes up from the Minors to take Beachy's turn in the rotation during Friday night's series opener against the Red Sox. Whether the former All-Star can provide the kind of reliability the Braves are seeking remains to be seen.
"I'm curious to see him pitch, obviously not under these circumstances where somebody gets hurt, but it's good to have a guy who made the All-Star Game last year," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "This could be a big pickup if he goes back to the form he had last year."
If Jurrjens struggles like he did while posting a 9.37 ERA before being demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett in late April, the Braves will have even more reason to aggressively pursue Ryan Dempster or any of the other attractive starting pitchers that might be available on the trade market.
To fit Dempster or another of these pitchers within the constraints of this year's payroll, the Braves will need to be creative. With Chipper Jones and now Indians pitcher Derek Lowe both coming off of their payroll next year, the Braves will have some money to play with on the free-agent market this winter.
But still uncomfortable by the results of the 2009 offseason, when they acquired Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami on the free-agent market, the Braves might use some of the money budgeted for the future to address their needs on this year's trade market.