ATLANTA -- Thursday marked the six-week point in Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy's recovery from Tommy John surgery. Beachy, who was leading the Major Leagues with a 2.00 ERA when he was injured in June, said the recovery is going well so far, and he has recovered full range of motion in his elbow.
"I feel great," Beachy said. "Now it's just the waiting game."
Beachy won't be able to start throwing again for another two and a half months. While he waits, he is working on strengthening his shoulder and back.
Though getting full range of motion in his elbow back is an important part of the recovery process, Beachy said he isn't measuring his progress yet.
"Everyone gets their range of motion back at different times," Beachy said. "The key thing is just to get it back. I've got it back. It's way too early to be thinking of ahead or behind in terms of schedule. The setbacks and all those things happen a lot farther down the road, once you start throwing."
Beachy said one of the hardest parts of the recovery is being away from the team. While the Braves are in Atlanta, he works out at Turner Field and can be with his teammates. But when they're on the road, he has to stay home.
It was especially hard for Beachy to watch from his living room as the Braves rallied from a 9-0 deficit to beat the Nationals, 11-10, in 11 innings on July 20 in Washington.
"It was pretty tough that 9-0 comeback in Washington to be sitting at home watching that, watching them celebrate and not being there," Beachy said. "I was all alone by myself, turning to my left and right for high fives and nobody's there."
Braves give struggling Prado night off
ATLANTA -- Martin Prado has become recognized as an unselfish hard-working player who can prove successful in a variety of roles. But the past couple of weeks have provided indication that Prado is starting to feel the effects of a long season.
Sensing he needed a chance to rest, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez did not put Prado in the starting lineup for Thursday night's series finale against the Marlins. Prado had started 75 of the previous 76 games the Braves had played dating back to early May, when he missed two consecutive starts because of the flu.
"Certain guys, you can tell when they need a breather once in a while," Gonzalez said. "And like we talked about, we've been riding them pretty hard, those three guys in the outfield."
Newly acquired backup outfielder Reed Johnson started in left field on Thursday in place of Prado, who went 0-for-5 and hit into two double plays during Wednesday night's loss. Center fielder Michael Bourn rested while Johnson made his Braves debut on Wednesday.
When June concluded, Prado was hitting .323 with a .387 on-base percentage and .467 slugging percentage. He has batted .235 with a .272 on-base percentage and .296 slugging percentage in 27 games since the start of July.
"Whenever he struggles, he drifts," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said. "And when he gets out on that front foot, he's committing a little early. Instead of driving that ball into the off field and slashing the ball to the off field like we've seen him do hundreds of times, he's basically just flipping the ball to first and second. It's because he's not staying on his back side long enough. It's something that has to be addressed and fixed."
Janish even better than advertised at shortstop
ATLANTA -- When the Braves acquired shortstop Paul Janish in a trade with the Reds on July 14, they knew they were getting a premium defensive player to replace injured rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons. In Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Marlins, Janish showed the Braves just how good he can be.
Jose Reyes led off the third inning for the Marlins and lofted a popup down the left-field line into no-man's land. Left fielder Martin Prado, third baseman Chipper Jones and Janish all converged on the ball before Janish fully extended on a dive to make the catch.
Janish laid on the ground for a moment before Jones reached him.
"That kind of ignited the crowd, and I said, 'Get 'em up Janny,'" Jones said. "He got up and said, 'Yeah, that was a pretty good play.'"
Manager Fredi Gonzalez was surprised Janish was able to get to the ball.
"No question in my mind it's going to drop," Gonzalez said.
In his first few weeks with the Braves, Janish has not only made the flashy, spectacular plays, he also has made all of the routine ones, Gonzalez said.
"He's been everything I expected and beyond my expectations, really," Gonzalez said. "You don't appreciate a guy until you see him do everything."