ATLANTA -- Brandon Beachy will move closer to a return to Atlanta's rotation Sunday, when he is scheduled to start for Triple-A Gwinnett. It will be the first official Minor League rehab start for the right-hander, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June.
Beachy was pleased with the way he felt during a two pain-free innings of an extended spring training game Tuesday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He is scheduled to throw three innings in Sunday's game with Gwinnett.
"[Tuesday's] first inning, it just felt kind of foreign to me, but I settled in, and it felt good," Beachy said. "It felt pretty normal."
Beachy led the Majors with a 2.00 ERA before he was placed on the disabled list last year. His recovery has proceeded on schedule, and he will make at least five more rehab starts before potentially rejoining Atlanta's rotation in the middle of June.
"I'm going to go out there trying to work on pitches," Beachy said. "A quality pitch down in Orlando against extended spring guys is going to be a quality pitch in Gwinnett or Atlanta, so I'm just working on that."
Beachy was not concerned with his velocity ahead of his first appearance in the Minors as much as command of his entire arsenal within the context of live at-bats.
"I've been throwing all my pitches, now it's: Can I throw them for strikes? Can I throw them for quality in a game situation?" Beachy said. "It's different when you're throwing it in the bullpen and when you're throwing it in a game with a hitter in there. It's just progressing to the point where I can make pitches to get guys out. There's a purpose behind the pitch now."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less