After Brandon Beachy had to cut his third spring start short on Monday, the right-hander insisted that he wasn’t worried about having a major problem with his surgically repaired elbow.
That isn’t the case anymore, though.
Beachy is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday and could be headed to a second Tommy John operation.
If he does, Beachy will likely be joining fellow Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen, who will also see Andrews.
The famed sports surgeon first operated on Medlen in 2010 and Beachy in 2012. Medlen bounced back well before suffering ligament damage again, but Beachy has been beset by setbacks.
“Lot of frustration,” Beachy told reporters in Florida on Friday. “Really, really frustrated.”
Andrews has placed the success rate at about 20 percent for pitchers to return to pre-surgery form after a second operation and the rate has been better for relievers than starters.
Braves reliever Jonny Venters is trying to come back from his Tommy John surgery.
The potential second ligament tear was found in further tests on Beachy in mid-week and he appears to be expecting the worst when he see Andrews.
To replace Medlen, the Braves signed free agent Ervin Santana, giving him a one-year deal worth $14.1 million. Now they may have to replace Beachy as well.
Gavin Floyd, coming off Tommy John surgery he had last year while with the Chicago White Sox, was signed as a free agent over the winter and should be ready to join the rotation in May or June.
Good outing for Hale
David Hale, forced into the Braves rotation by all the injuries, allowed one run on three hits in a 6-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Friday, retiring the Rays in order during three of his four innings. He struck out three and walked one.
Hale, 26, was promoted from Class AAA Gwinnett last September and allowed just one run over 11 innings in two starts. The right-hander was expected to start this season back with the G-Braves, though, until Medlen, Beachy and Mike Minor were all lost from the rotation.
Joey Terdoslavich, fighting for a bench spot, had a homer and two-run single against Tampa Bay after starting the spring 2 for 22. Ernesto Mejia also hit a home run for the Braves.
Scoreless streak ends
Gus Schlosser, one of the big surprises for the Braves, finally was scored on Saturday after allowing just two hits and no runs over 5 1/3 innings in his first three spring appearances.
The right-hander allowed four hits and three runs (two earned) over four innings as the Braves lost 6-2 to St. Louis. The runs off Schlosser came in the third inning.
Schlosser, 25, will likely start this season in the Gwinnett rotation. He was 7-6 with a 2.39 in 25 starts for Class AA Mississippi last year.
The sinkerball pitcher was a 17th-round draft choice out of Florida Southern in 2011.
Gattis had knee surgery
Evan Gattis, who will take over as the regular catcher this season with the departure of Brian McCann, had his workload limited early in camp after undergoing surgery in October to remove a bone chip from his right knee.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he plans to have Gattis catch about 100-110 games this season, with Gerald Laird behind the plate for most of the others. The Braves also have Ryan Doumit available.
Gattis led major league rookies with 65 RBIs last season and was second with 21 homers.
In 2012, Gattis made more starts in left field (47) than behind the plate (38).
Braves trim roster
The Braves made their first round of spring cuts on Friday, with pitching prospect J.R. Graham among the 18 sent to minor league camp. The right-hander had his 2013 season at Mississippi come to an end in May because of shoulder problems and he may start this season in the Gwinnett bullpen.
Other players likely to start this season with the G-Braves include pitchers Wirfin Obispo, Cody Martin, Daniel Rodriguez, Yunesky Maya, Lay Batista, Aaron Northcraft and Mark Lamm, first baseman Mark Hamilton and third baseman Edward Salcedo.
Starting pitcher Jason Hursh, a first-round draft pick last June, will likely begin the year at Mississippi with reliever Shae Simmons and outfielder Matt Lipka.
The Braves have 45 active players still in big league camp.