Beachy struggles with command in rehab start

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Beachy struggles with command in rehab start

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Hyosub Shin
June 8, 2012 Atlanta - Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Brandon Beachy (37)delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays at Turner Field in Atlanta on Friday, May 8, 2012. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Brandon Beachy did not have the crisp outing he was looking for in the final scheduled outing of his minor league rehabilitation assignment Thursday night. He gave up three runs, two earned, and four walks in three innings for Triple-A Gwinnett at Rochester.

Beachy pitched behind in the count for much of the outing and had thrown 53 pitches through the first two innings. Of his 69 pitches over three innings, only 38 were for strikes. He gave up three hits, including a home run, and struck out four. After a leadoff walk in the third inning, he struck out two of the last three batters he faced. He threw 10 of his 16 pitches for strikes in the third inning.

The Braves have targeted Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Mets for Beachy’s return, three days shy of the one-year anniversary of his Tommy John surgery (June 21, 2012).

As the Braves finished their West Coast swing Wednesday in San Diego and headed home, no decision had been made about how the Braves would handle their rotation once Beachy returns.

“There’s a lot of moving parts, as far as how you make it work,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “(Manager) Fredi (Gonzalez) and (pitching coach) Roger (McDowell) and I have talked about how the overriding decision will be based on what’s best for our team. Nothing else. When we get to the point where we’re close to that and have to make that decision, we’ll do what’s best for the team.”

Inconsistency with command is common for pitchers coming back from Tommy John reconstruction surgery. Beachy struck out eight while throwing 60 of his 94 pitches for strikes in his previous outing for Gwinnett, giving up one run in five innings on June 8.

Beachy gave up eight earned runs over five rehab starts in Rome, Mississippi and Gwinnett combined. He struck out 22 in 22 innings and walked 12.

David O’Brien contributed to this report.

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