Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy, the Major Leagues' co-leader in ERA, underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Thursday and is expected to miss about a year.
After evaluating the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in Beachy's right elbow on Wednesday, Dr. James Andrews determined the right-hander would not be able to avoid surgery. Andrews performed the procedure in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Beachy went 5-5 in 13 starts this season. His 2.00 ERA is tied with Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for the best in the Majors among qualifying starting pitchers. Beachy ranks first in opponents' batting average (.171).
"It's tough," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "He was really doing everything that you can ask, and growing as a pitcher and growing in stature as a guy you could count on to shut the other team down. So it's tough to lose him, and it's obviously tough for him."
Beachy felt discomfort during a start against the Blue Jays on June 8, so the Braves awarded him three extra days of rest before his outing on Saturday. Elbow pain forced the 25-year-old to exit Saturday's outing after just 3 2/3 innings. He had retired each of the first 11 batters he faced before his velocity dipped during a two-out walk to Baltimore's Chris Davis. Beachy departed after the free pass.
"It's never fun [to see], especially to a guy like Beachy, who is such a good guy," teammate Tommy Hanson said. "It's never fun to watch, because at any time I think we all know that could happen to one of us, too. I feel really bad for him. But you know how Beachy is. He'll work really hard to get back."
Atlanta will promote Jair Jurrjens from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Beachy's spot in the rotation. Jurrjens, an All-Star in 2011, will pitch on Friday. The right-hander posted a 9.37 ERA in four April starts before being demoted. He went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA last season.