LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Given that he is a highly competitive perfectionist, Brandon Beachy did not have much fun as he attempts to moderate his effort level during the early portion of the Grapefruit League season. But coming off an injury-marred season, the Braves right-hander also knows it will be in his best interest to do so.
"It's not going to be easy," Beachy said. "I don't like giving up hits and runs. That's not fun. But I'm trying to have a big-picture mentality."
Beachy's comments came after he surrendered five hits and allowed two runs while recording just five outs in Friday night's game against the Astros at Champion Stadium. Slated to complete two innings, he was removed when he exceeded his prescribed pitch limit (40) in the process of allowing Dexter Fowler's two-run, bases-loaded single in the second inning.
"These first few [starts], I'm going to be more concerned with tomorrow morning than anything that happens tonight," Beachy said. "We'll see tomorrow morning. I'm pretty optimistic."
Beachy was limited to five starts as he experienced a frustration-filled return from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery last season. But since having a bone chip removed from his right elbow in September, the 27-year-old hurler has gained reason to be encouraged things will be different this season. He has not experienced anything more than normal soreness since he began throwing in January.
"I'm just going to keep going out there and do what the training staff tells me to do," Beachy said. "I feel pretty confident in the way I've been feeling and the way I'm going to feel. I've got April and October in mind, and not today."
During his early exhibition-season starts, Beachy will throw a limited number of breaking balls and steadily increase his effort level. His fastball sat between 88-91 mph during Friday's 43-pitch effort. According to FanGraphs, the average velocity of his fastball was 92 mph in 2011 and 91 mph in 2012, which was the year he underwent Tommy John surgery.
"Today is the hardest I've tried to throw," Beachy said. "I'd like to think I can throw harder than I did tonight. But it's early. Hopefully by the end of this month, I'll be throwing harder than I did tonight, and be ready to go in April."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.