Beachy exits early due to tightness in right arm

Beachy exits early due to tightness in right arm

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Braves were approaching this season with the hope that their starting rotation would be strengthened by the presence of Kris Medlen and a healthy Brandon Beachy.

But approximately 24 hours after Medlen walked off the mound with a potentially serious elbow injury, Beachy was rudely reminded on Monday that he has not completely recovered from the elbow ailments that have limited him to five Major League starts over the past 20 months.

As Beachy labored through two ugly innings against the Phillies on Monday afternoon, he threw just 14 of his 37 pitches for strikes and saw his fastball top out at 88 miles per hour. Instead of attempting to complete the four innings he was slated to pitch, the Braves right-hander exited and confirmed he has felt some tightness around his right elbow and biceps muscle over the past couple of weeks.

"I'm not worried at all about it," Beachy said. "I've seen the doctors, and they've done everything. My ligament is fine. I've got some inflammation in there and it got a little too tight in my bicep. It was just unproductive to keep pushing and fighting through it.

"I'm not scared at all. I didn't come in here feeling 100 percent. This is something I've been dealing with. It had been getting easier the harder I threw and the harder I pushed. Today, it just got a little too tight on me."

Members of the Braves' medical staff have comforted Beachy by telling him the discomfort he has felt should be viewed as normal given what he has experienced the past two years. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2012, Beachy endured a frustration-filled return attempt and was limited to five starts in 2013 because of elbow inflammation.

Beachy was shut down in August, and a month later he underwent a cleanup surgical procedure, during which Dr. James Andrews removed a floating bone chip from his elbow. While the 27-year-old hurler has repeatedly said he has not felt any discomfort since he began throwing in January, he now admits that he has been restricted by the tightness he has felt the past couple of weeks.

"It's tough to describe," Beachy said. "When I went down in 2012, it felt like a stabbing sensation. Last year, it felt full in the joint and it was just shooting out all around. This is not like either of those. It's just kind of a dull tightness and it gets to where I just can't finish anything. I've been throwing through it. That's normal from what I hear. You just get through it. Obviously, I wanted to go four [innings] today. But I'm not worried about it."

Beachy was not ready to confirm whether he will make his next scheduled Spring Training start or project whether he will be ready for the start of the regular season. Monday's two-inning stint came just five days after he had tossed three scoreless innings against the Phillies on this same Bright House Field mound.

"Today, it was obviously worse than it was the last time and the time before, to the point where I didn't think throwing through it was productive to get people out or for my own [good]," Beachy said.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.