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ANTA -- Brandon Beachy's storybook season will be put on hold. The talented pitcher and the Braves can only hope it has not come to an end.
Beachy was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday after right elbow discomfort forced him to exit during the fourth inning of Saturday's 5-0 loss to the Orioles. Right-hander Todd Redmond was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.
Before projecting how much time he might miss, the Braves will wait on results of an MRI exam that is expected to be completed within the next two days.
"It's really frustrating," Beachy said. "I've had a lot of success when I've felt good this year. It's frustrating because I feel like I am in a position where I know more. I'm in a position where I understand what I'm trying to do and I'm doing it when I physically can."
Four years after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of a college summer league, Beachy owns a Major League-best 2.00 ERA and was in line to earn his first All-Star selection. But now the 25-year-old right-hander has to worry about the possibility of needing to undergo a surgical procedure that could sideline him for the remainder of this year and part of the 2013 season.
"His health comes first," Braves center fielder Michael Bourn said. "He's too good to try to be pushing it if it's still hurting him. All of us other 24 guys want him out there, but he's got to be healthy first."
After Beachy experienced right elbow discomfort during his June 7 start against the Blue Jays, the Braves gave him three extra days of rest leading up to this start. Everything seemed fine when he displayed normal velocity through the first three innings and retired each of the first 11 batters he faced.
But his velocity started to dip during the fourth inning and there was apparent trouble as his perfect game -- and outing -- concluded with a two-out walk to Chris Davis. He opened the plate appearance with consecutive curveballs that did not reach the plate. There were more signs of trouble when his next two fastballs were clocked at 86 and 88 mph.
"I threw those curveballs and it didn't feel right," Beachy said. "I didn't feel like I was going to be able to throw it to the plate. I felt it and just knew. It was different than what I had before. So I had to stop."
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said that he and general manager Frank Wren would discuss options after the team's medical staff got a chance to evaluate Beachy again on Sunday. They went with Redmond, who was 6-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 13 starts for Gwinnett. This came after Gonzalez indicated he would be hesitant to move Kris Medlen from the bullpen to rotation.
Medlen spent the past two weeks with Gwinnett stretching out with the intent to return to Atlanta as a starting pitcher. But when he returned on Friday, the Braves determined he would be more valuable in the bullpen. The decision paid dividends on Friday night, when the versatile pitcher tossed two scoreless innings of relief in a 4-2 win over the Orioles.
"You hate to put Medlen in there and kind of rob Peter to pay Paul," Gonzalez said.
Other potential candidates were Jair Jurrjens, who has posted a 5.27 ERA in nine starts with Gwinnett, or Julio Teheran, who impressed during the early portion of a spot start against the Blue Jays last weekend.