0

Beachy to start for G-Braves on Sunday

ATLANTA -- The Gwinnett Braves gave out Brandon Beach bobbleheads earlier this season. Now Coolray Field fans will get to see the right-hander pitch.

Beachy, on schedule to return to the Atlanta rotation in the second half of June, will officially begin his 30-day minor league rehab assignment on Sunday as he starts for the G-Braves against Louisville.

The 28-year-old is slated to work three innings after working two innings in an extended spring training game in Florida on Tuesday.

"It was fun to get back out there," Beachy said after throwing a side session at Turner Field on Friday before the Braves' series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Beachy threw 29 pitches in his Florida outing and his fastball was regularly 92-93 mph -- right where it was prior to surgery.

"I'm not worried about velocity," he said. "For me, it's all about making my pitches and being able to put the ball where I want it."

That could take a little time.

Beachy is likely to make about six rehab starts, most with Gwinnett. He will work on a regular five-day schedule.

Going against Class AAA hitters will be a step up from matches against hitters left behind in Florida to wait for the start of rookie league play this summer.

"It's definitely different than facing guys in extended spring," Beachy said. "But a quality pitch is a quality pitch."

Beachy underwent surgery to reconstruct the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament last June 21 after having to leave a start against Baltimore five days earlier because of elbow discomfort.

Going into his final start he was leading major league starters in ERA and he finished with a 2.00 mark in 81 innings and a 5-5 record. He had 68 strikeouts to 29 walks.

Beachy started 25 games for the Braves as a rookie in 2011 and had a 7-3 record with a 3.68 ERA. He struck out 169 and walked 46 in 141 innings.