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Beachy to return Monday as Braves assess options

Beachy to return Monday as Braves assess options

Beachy to return Monday as Braves assess options

ATLANTA -- As expected, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez announced on Friday that Brandon Beachy would take Tim Hudson's place in the rotation starting on Monday in the team's series opener against the Rockies. But with Paul Maholm likely to miss at least one more start with a sprained wrist, Beachy's return from Tommy John surgery is just one facet of the self-evaluation process as the Braves front office takes inventory of its options for making upgrades to both the rotation and the bullpen in the final days before the Trade Deadline.

"We have to make a decision regardless of what we actually see with those guys," general manager Frank Wren said. "Paul Maholm, his situation, I think he'll be fine in the next few days. And as pertaining to Beachy, we've seen him make a number of rehab starts, and those have all gotten progressively better, and his last one was the best yet, so I think we pretty much know what we have there."

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Beachy completed six innings on Wednesday night in his final rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett, allowing just two runs on two hits but surrendering four walks. If all goes well with one final side bullpen session at Turner Field this weekend, Beachy will get the ball on Monday for his first start since June 16, 2012.

"We'll put him there on Monday if everything goes well," Gonzalez said. "I don't expect any problems with that side, and then he'll be scheduled to pitch on Monday for Huddy's spot."

Wren called this summer's trade market the thinnest he's ever seen from a buyer's perspective, making his short list of prime trade targets just that -- short.

"I've had years where I've had two legal pages written out of names of potential trade possibilities," Wren said. "This year, I've got half a page of names that really fit for us, so it's a small number."

The Braves are in the enviable position of protecting a comfortable lead in the National League East heading into the Trade Deadline. That allows a healthy margin of error to be picky with trade options while the rotation adjusts to life without Hudson's veteran presence.

"Yeah, it's a young rotation, but they have to grow up sooner or later," Gonzalez said. "We have to grow up and mature. Somewhere down the line is going to be your first playoff or pennant chase or pennant run. It's going to be your first, so we're young, but we'll get through it."

The unusually high cost of many of the top targets around the league also has tempered the urgency with which Wren shops his team's assets in the hunt for a playoff-ready piece.

"We want to win the World Series, so is there a guy that really makes that kind of difference?" Wren said. "If there is, I think you're willing to pay for him. We weigh that every year, whether we're in or out. We're always weighing what's the value of the player down the road when the games are more meaningful."

Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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