Daily Notes: A Brief Review of Brandon Beachy’s Season Debut

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. A Brief Review of Brandon Beachy’s Season Debut
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

A Brief Review of Brandon Beachy’s Season Debut
Undrafted out of Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008 following his junior year there, but subsequently signed that summer by Atlanta for $20 thousand out of a collegeiate wood-bat league in Virginia, right-hander Brandon Beachy proceeded to move rapidly through the Braves system. After recording strikeout and walk rates of 26.5% and 5.7%, respectively, in 208.0 innings in the minors, Beachy made his major-league debut in 2010. The following season, he was excellent, posting an 82 xFIP- and 2.8 WAR in 141.2 innings. After 13 starts in 2012, he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. His start last (Monday) night against Colorado at home was his first in the majors since June of last year.

What follows is a brief review of same.

Beachy’s Results
Beachy’s defense-independent performance on Monday varied considerably from his actual, real-live one. The 26-year-old recorded a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio against 20 batters over 3.2 innings, producing an entirely reasonable 3.41 xFIP. Simultaneous to that, however, Beachy allowed two home runs and conceded hits on half the balls in play against him, ultimately making him responsible for eight runs (box).

Beachy’s Repertoire
As the PITCHf/x chart below (featuring speed and horizontal movement) reveals, Beachy threw four or five different pitches on Monday — a fastball at about 89-93 mph; a changeup at 81-84 mph; a slider at 80-84 mph; and a slow curve, at 70-74 mph. He also appears maybe to have thrown a lone two-seamer (see below).

Beachy Repertoire

Beachy’s Repertoire, Relative to 2011
As the following comparative charts suggest, Beachy exhibited more or less the same collection of pitches on Monday as he did during his very successful 2011 season — with the difference being possibly that his fastball was a little slower on Monday and his changeup faster but with less arm-side movement.

Beachy Rep Comparison

Action Footage: Beachy’s Fastball
Here’s footage from Monday — with Jorge de la Rosa batting — of Beachy’s fastball, which pitch has historically produced a higher swinging-strike rate than other pitchers’ fastballs:

Beachy DLR FA SS

Action Footage: Beachy’s Two-Seamer, Maybe
Here’s footage — also, again, to de la Rosa — of what was classified as a two-seamer and certainly which features more arm-side run than Beachy’s fastball, generally:

Beach DLR Two Seam SS K

Action Footage: Beachy’s Fastball, Again
Finally, here’s footage of Beachy conceding a double to Dexter Fowler to begin the game — also on the fastball, but less well located than the two above:

Beachy Fowler 2B

Credit to Brooks Baseball for some of the PITCHf/x data here.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Arizona at Tampa Bay | 19:10 ET
Ian Kennedy (119.0 IP, 116 xFIP-, 0.7 WAR) faces Roberto Hernandez (113.1 IP, 89 xFIP-, 0.4 WAR). As noted yesterday, Tampa Bay has recorded a uncharacteristically high park-adjusted home-run rate for a team whose identity has generally been defined, in recent years, by a combination of plate-discipline (on offense), excellent pitching, and excellent defense.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Tampa Bay Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.1.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Yovani Gallardo MIL 4 5 4 4 3 CHN Carlos Villanueva 14:20
Lance Lynn STL 6 3 6 7 7 PIT A.J. Burnett 16:05
Tyler Lyons* STL 6 3 5 7 5 PIT Undecided TBD
Jake Peavy CHA 7 1 6 7 6 CLE Scott Kazmir 19:05
Bud Norris HOU 3 3 3 8 2 BAL Wei-Yin Chen 19:05
Barry Zito SF 1 5 3 0 4 PHI John Lannan 19:05
Ste. Strasburg WAS 10 2 9 7 10 DET Anibal Sanchez 19:08
Ian Kennedy AZ 3 2 5 10 6 TB Rob. Hernandez 19:10
Juan Nicasio COL 4 8 6 7 8 ATL Alex Wood* 19:10
Zack Wheeler NYN 3 6 4 1 6 MIA Nathan Eovaldi 19:10
Joe Saunders SEA 3 5 5 7 7 BOS Bra. Workman* 19:10
C.J. Wilson LAA 4 7 6 3 8 TEX Derek Holland 20:05
Tyler Thornburg* MIL 6 5 4 4 2 CHN Jake Arrieta 20:05
Ervin Santana KC 7 7 4 2 1 MIN Mike Pelfrey 20:10
Mark Buehrle TOR 5 7 6 6 6 OAK Dan Straily 22:05
Mat Latos CIN 9 3 6 6 3 SD Edinson Volquez 22:10
Andy Pettitte NYA 5 3 4 3 4 LAN Zack Greinke 22:10

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

14 Responses to “Daily Notes: A Brief Review of Brandon Beachy’s Season Debut”

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  1. ChuckO says:

    I watched the game, and Beachy’s main problem was lack of command. His fastball was pretty much the only pitch with which he could hit his spots. On the others, he kept getting the ball up, and the Rockies were feasting on them. One would hope that this is just so-called rust, and that he’ll eventually work things out. The Braves have the luxury of a big lead, so they can send him out there on a regular basis in the hope that he’ll come around.

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    • frivoflava29 says:

      He was having issues with command during his rehab stint. Seems like rust indeed after reading through these notes, could be a great sleeper next year.

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    • Anon21 says:

      They say command is the last thing to return after an extended layoff like Beachy’s had. I wouldn’t expect him to regain his former level sooner than next season. Fortunately, the Braves do have an acceptable fifth starter coming off the DL sometime in early- to mid-August in the person of Paul Maholm, so they don’t need Beachy to get right in order to maintain a commanding lead in the NL East.

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    • dovif says:

      I think the Braves need another starter. Tim Woods does not look like a major leaguer, Beachy looks very rusty and Medlen have not been very good, they need a no 4 and a no 5

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  2. Al says:

    Missed the game, then checking the box score kind of made me wince.

    Since then most accounts of the game have actually made me feel a little better though. Decent K/BB, velocity. I hesitate to give him a pass for that Fowler double, but it looks like hit his spot almost perfectly.

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  3. Eminor3rd says:

    I would like to note that Peavy has officially been pulled from this start due to potential trade activity and that viewers of this game will instead witness the ML debut of prospect Andre Rienzo, which also happens to be historic in that it will be the first ever ML start by a Brazilian-born player.

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  4. Nevin says:

    I wasn’t able to watch the game, but looking at the GIFs above, I have to say it looks like in each one of these Beachy’s hitting the spot where the catcher, Gattis, is setting up (except that one that we’re calling a 2-seamer — it jsut runs away, but even that one is starting towards the correct spot where he’s flashed the target).
    I’m interested to watch his next start, assuming with McCann, and get a sense of whether he’s really missing his spots or whether its less than optimal pitch location calling by the catcher.

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    • fast at last says:

      Don’t know why there wasn’t a curveball or slider gif. Those were just some big ole chicken nuggets that broke right into the middle of the zone.

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  5. After a night of hard drinking, Pittsburgh’s Undecided has been removed on account of flu-like symptons. The delightfully named Stolmy Pimentel will replace him.
    (Somewhere, the Well Beered Englishman is demoting every pitcher in his Top 10 Pitcher Names ranking (and drinking every pitcher of beer in sight)).

    The Stolmy Pimentel Appreciation Zociety (SPAZ) is preparing Stoli Martinis with Pimento Olive garnishes in anticipation.

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  6. Nick says:

    Wow, I found that crazy how consistently he throws around the same area. He must be getting his pitching down to a fine art. Even after Tommy John surgery, I’d say things are starting to look up.

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  7. Houjazi Cockburn says:

    I love the review of Beachy’s start but it would be great to see you take it to the next level and offer some kind of conclusion or at least hypothesis about Beachy’s progress.

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