Atlanta Braves starter Brandon Beachy has been placed on the 15 day disabled list. Beachy left Friday night’s start against the Philadelphia Phillies after feeling a ‘tearing sensation’ in his oblique.
The Braves have not announced Beachy’s replacement in the rotation; instead bringing up reliever Scott Proctor until a decision has to be made Wednesday.
Though Beachy has pitched well so far, a 3.45 ERA to go along with 46 K’s in 44.1 innings, the team has several capable replacement options; youngsters Mike Minor and Julio Teheran and veteran Rodrigo Lopez.
Minor was beaten out this spring by Beachy for the squad’s 5th rotation spot. The former 7th overall pick has already made a start this year for Atlanta, struggling with his command and ultimately allowing 5 runs over 4.1 innings. The lefty has shown well in AAA this season, striking out 43 over 39.2 innings and maintaining a 1.82 ERA.
While Minor entered the year as Baseball America’s 37th best prospect entering the season, he was not the highest ranking Braves starter on the list. That honor went to 20 year old phenom Julio Teheran, who came in at #5 overall. The elite prospect made his major league debut May 7th against the Phillies and is certainly expected to be a mainstay in Atlanta’s rotation for years to come.
The final option may not offer the Braves as much upside in the future, but could be a reliable choice if the team wants their top prospects to get a little more experience at the AAA level.
Atlanta signed Rodrigo Lopez this off season for major league pitching depth, and he may get his first shot with the major league club this Wednesday. Rodriguez logged 200 innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season, but at the cost of a 5.00 ERA. He’s won 5 AAA games this season, managing an ERA of 1.79.
Few major league teams have the pitching depth of the Atlanta Braves, clubs wishing they could have replacement options of this caliber waiting in the minors. The Braves pretty much know what to expect with Lopez, while the prospects certainly offer a higher potential ceiling. It will be interesting to see who ends up taking the mound for Atlanta Wednesday.