September is a great time for non-contenders to call up some young players and give them playing time to see what they’re made of, but it’s not often that a contender calls up a rookie and throws him to the wolves in the middle of a division race. That’s exactly what the Braves did last night with righthander Brandon Beachy, who took the place of the injured Jair Jurrjens and allowed three runs (one earned) in 4.1 innings of work in Philadelphia.
Given the hostile environment and general awesomeness that is the Phillies right now, it’s a more than respectable performance for a kid that wasn’t even drafted out of Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008. Bryan Smith did fine job of introducing you to Beachy and reviewing last night’s performance, so I’m going to skip that stuff and get to the fantasy portion of our program.
Jurrjen’s has been diagnosed with a “small horizontal meniscus tear” in his knee and even though he expects to make his next start, Beachy will prepare himself for the outing just in case. That start would come Sunday at the Nationals, and in the event that he gets another start after that, it could come at home against the Phillies in the second to last game of the season.
Obviously Beachy’s not going to come in and blow anyone away or anything like that, so the only reason to consider him for your roster this late in the season is if you absolutely need a win or have to roll the dice to get the ERA and WHIP down. That’s the situation I was in last week when I had to pick up and start Chris Narveson and Jeremy Bonderman on Sunday out of complete desperation. Needless to say, my season’s over.
The important thing to remember is that the Braves are approaching desperation mode, so if the rookie struggles at all Bobby Cox is likely to have a real quick hook. That makes a win less likely, negating a huge chunk of Beachy’s value. Despite a monster 11.2 K/9 in the minors this year, it would be careless to grab him with the expectation of improving your strikeout column by that much. The best advice I can give is to simply play it by ear, and if you need someone to make that desperation start on Sunday, Beachy’s not a terrible option. Assuming he actually makes the start, of course.
*obvious joke title is obvious
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