Wednesday, May 20, 2015

With Ryu out, Beachy's signing is that much more important

Remember when the Dodgers signed Brandon Beachy to a one-year, $2.75 million contract back in February?


Well, take my word for it, because they did.  And it's a good thing, too, considering the news from today concerning another one of their starters.

Hyun-Jin Ryu has opted for shoulder surgery on Thursday, all but ending any chance he pitches in 2015.  Never say never, but I haven't read a thing yet that makes me even somewhat optimistic that he'll be toeing the rubber come this postseason.  It ain't gonna happen, folks.

So, this is where the Dodgers start to scramble with Ryu and Brandon McCarthy already KO'd for the year.  They've gotten good starts out of rookies Carlos Frias (3-1, 2.55 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) and Mike Bolsinger (2-0, 1.04, 1.10).  In fact, those are very good numbers, so it's hard to expect them to stay that way.  That's not to say they can't pitch well, but numbers that low can't be counted on over and over.

That leads us back to Beachy, who's showing signs of fighting back from his second Tommy John surgery in three years.  He hasn't pitched since August of 2013, so you can understand just how long a road he's been on in pitching again.  His most recent step came a few days ago when he tossed two innings of a simulated game pain free.

At the time, I don't think anyone could've expected Beachy to be so important this early in the season, but he is.  In 46 career starts with the Braves, he's 14-11 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 275 K's in 267 2/3 IP.  Those numbers are very promising, and you can see why the Dodgers were willing to take a chance on him.

What's next in the recovery process for Beachy?  According to Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles,com, he's expected to go on a rehab assignment soon.  Assuming that all goes well, then it's very possible we'll see him with the big club in June.

That's a best case scenario, and considering how fragile his arm has been in the past, we'll have just wait and see how he responds after increasing his workload each start.

But let's stay positive here and say that all does go well.  Beachy can then slot himself right into the back end of the rotation over the summer and give a nice boost.  It'll be hard to match Ryu's consistency, but as long as he can keep his WHIP low, the much-improved Dodgers' defense can help him in a big way.

The bottom line is to keep your eye on Beachy over the next few weeks.  If he's feeling good and getting hitters out, he can be just what the Dodgers need in June.

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