WASHINGTON — Pedro Beato had a healthy pitching arm and major league experience, and that was probably about all the Braves needed to know before they claimed him off waivers from the Reds.
The big right-hander joined the team in Washington and was activated for Friday’s series opener against the Nationals.
“We saw him a couple of years ago,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “In talking to (general manager) Frank (Wren) and talking to (assistant GM) Bruce (Manno), I think anytime a pitcher becomes available through a waiver or options — I’m sure 29 teams are doing the same thing — if you get a chance to get them, get them.
“Because it’s a 162-game season and you’re going to need every single one of them.”
The Braves know pitching injuries. During spring training they lost starting pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to elbow injuries that required Tommy John surgery, and lost reliever Cory Gearrin to an elbow injury that might also require Tommy John surgery.
“It’s a great place to land, considering I was going to more than likely be on the Triple-A team,” Beato said after joining the Braves.
Beato, 27, was 4-2 with a 4.55 ERA in 81 career appearances in parts of three seasons with the Mets and Red Sox, with 56 strikeouts and 34 walks in 89 innings. He had a 3.60 ERA in 10 appearances with the Red Sox in 2013, and was claimed off waivers by the Reds on Oct. 31.
He pitched in nine spring training games for Cincinnati and had a 3.00 ERA, allowing 11 hits, three runs and one walk with five strikeouts in nine innings. They waived him and would’ve sent him to the minors before the Braves claimed him.
“I was throwing well,” Beato said. “I had one rough outing where I was kind of figuring out some mechanical stuff. And then I finally figured it out and it was going well after that. I was kind of surprised that I got put on waivers, but it’s part of the game. Stuff happens. They needed a spot on the roster, and I was the guy to get put on waivers.”
His only full season in the majors came with the 2011 Mets, his hometown team – he moved from the Dominican Republic to Queens in New York City at age 13. The right-hander posted a 4.30 ERA in 60 appearances for the Mets that year, with 39 strikeouts in 67 innings.
Gearrin to 60-day DL: It's been 1-1/2 weeks since Gearrin was injured, and the Braves haven't given another update since he was diagnosed initially with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament and planned to seek a second opinion. An indication of the severity of Gearrin's injury: he was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Beato.