Tommy John surgery is not an oil change for pitchers. It is not a routine cleaning at the dentist. It is a major surgery that is incredibly complicated and requires one full calendar year of rehabilitation before patients are ready to throw baseballs once again.
Brandon Beachy looks as though he needs a second Tommy John surgery. Kris Medlen also appears resigned to a second trip under the knife – both are scheduled for ominous meetings with Dr. James Andrews at his famous clinic in Birmingham. It’s scary for these two pitchers as coming back from two TJs is about as daunting a task as a big leaguer can face.
Brian Wilson is back pitching after his second Tommy John. Rangers reliever Jason Frasor went through two TJs before he reached the league. Chris Capuano seems all the way back from his two surgeries. Fellow Brave Jonny Venters is working his way back from a second procedure, six years after his first. It happens…but it is hard.
The Braves already took their steps to address the loss of Medlen but proceeding without Beachy another blow for a team reeling with pitching injuries.
Hopefully both Beachy and Minor can get good news from Dr. Andrews and, failing that, recover quickly. The road back is long but Beachy and Medlen at least know what they’re in for – whether that helps or hurts, only they know.