There were some unhappy people whenever it was announced that Brandon Beachy had beaten out Mike Minor for the Atlanta Braves' fifth and final starting spot in the rotation. Many were upset because of the upside that Minor brings and the fact that he is a lefty and would have balanced out a rotation that now has five righties in it.
Beachy quietly went about his business and made his first start of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers today, ending up with a no decision despite only giving up one run in six innings of work.
Beachy held a lineup that has been known for its balance of speed and power in recent years to only four hits, one of which being a home run on one of the few mistakes thrown by the right-hander. He also struck out seven and only allowed one walk.
He was masterful throughout the game, as 61 of his 88 pitches thrown were strikes. He hit 95 in the fifth inning and at one point recorded nine consecutive outs.
Beachy's next start is scheduled to be against the division foe and hated rival Philadelphia Phillies on April 9, a game that will show whether this first game is going to be a constant or a fluke.
All signs point to Beachy being a productive back-of-the-rotation guy as he made three starts late in the 2010 season, throwing 15 innings while putting together an ERA of 3.00 with 15 strikeouts and seven walks.
He doesn't project as a future ace, but so far in his very early major league career, Beachy is looking a lot better than what most people were expecting him to be.
The Braves were unable to score a run while Beachy was on the mound, but took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth inning when Martin Prado and Dan Uggla both hit solo home runs. They would hold on to get the win and continue a strong start to the season. Their record currently stands at 3-1.
Making the decision to put Beachy in the rotation worked out well in his first game, and while Minor is scheduled to pitch for the injured Jair Jurrjens, Beachy looks like he wants to keep the spot the whole year.