Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that, while the Braves haven't announced it yet, SP Brandon Beachy is expected to be named the team's fifth starter soon. His main competition, Mike Minor, will start the year in Triple-A.
It has not yet been officially announced, but it's been rumored for weeks that the Braves want to give Minor a little more time in the Minor Leagues before giving him a full-time starting job in Atlanta. Minor has thrown 120.1 combined innings in Mississippi in Gwinnett since being drafted seventh overall in the 2009 draft.
Brandon Beachy had a monster breakout season in 2010, and even pitched for the club in September down the stretch. He doesn't really have too much left to prove in the Minor Leagues. Beachy, 24, went 0-2 in his short stint with the Braves last year, but he was a victim of low run support. He posted a strong ERA of 3.00, and his FIP (2.48) and xFIP (3.93) show he could put up pretty similar numbers in 2011. Especially considering that two of his starts were against the Phillies vaunted offense.
As Spring Training rolls along, I'm warming up to the idea of Beachy becoming our fifth starter to begin the season. Minor gets to continue working on his approach and command of his pitches in Triple-A, and he'll be ready whenever the team needs him. Beachy impressed a lot of people last season, and he's been solid this spring.