Brandon Beachy vs. Jair Jurrjens
Often times, in a game that involves so much turnover, it’s common to see former teammates square off. On Tuesday night at 6:05 PM at Coolray Field, Atlanta Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy will make his fourth rehab start with the Gwinnett Braves against former Brave and now Norfolk Tides hurler, Jair Jurrjens. This will be the first time that both pitchers will meet in a head-to-head matchup.
In 2011, Jurrjens stared for the Atlanta Braves, posting a 12-3 record with a 1.87 ERA in the first half of the season. He led the league in wins and was second in ERA, as he headed to his first career All-Star game. His fast-paced start was eventually slowed by injuries, finishing the season 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA.
The right-hander ended the season, with a solid 13-6 record with a 2.96 ERA. However, is downward slide gave a pitcher like Beachy an opportunity to take his roster spot. While in 2011, both were rotation mates, it didn’t take long for Beachy to surpass Jurrjens on the Braves depth chart. In the second half of the 2011 campaign, the Kokomo, IN native went 4-2 with a 4.12 ERA, while striking out 91 in 74.1 innings.
Beachy carried over his success to the next season. In 13 games in 2012, he was tied for the Major League lead with a 1.98 ERA and led the Majors with a .171 opponent batting average prior to suffering a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on June 16.
In light of the injury, Jurrjens had an opportunity to regain his spot in the Atlanta Braves’ rotation, but he went 3-2 with a 5.63 ERA in his seven games after Beachy’s injury. Jurrjens would scuffle through Triple-A Gwinnett and Atlanta the rest of the way, going a combined 7-10 with a 5.74 ERA. At the end of the season, the Braves organization didn’t not pickup Jurrjens’ option and their once promising young star was let go.
While, Beachy is working his way through rehab, Jurrjens is trying to regain the form that earned him an All-Star Game invitation in 2011. In 15 starts with the Norfolk Tides, affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, he is 5-6 with 4.38 ERA. He has made two MLB starts, but was roughed up to the tune of an 0-0 record with a 4.91 ERA.