Jun 22, 2011, 6:30 PM EDT
I was one of them.
Rookie right-hander Brandon Beachy came off the disabled list on Wednesday to strike out a career-high 11 batters in six innings against the Blue Jays. The only run off him came courtesy of Jose Bautista‘s major league-high 22nd homer.
Beachy, who missed a month with a strained left oblique, moved to 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP in nine starts this season. In 12 starts since debuting last year, he has a 3.17 ERA.
Now, one doesn’t have to dig very hard to come up with pitchers who have started off their careers with a handful of good starts and quickly faded from there. Some guys have just enough deception in their deliveries or a tricky enough breaking ball to excel once around the league and then fall apart soon thereafter.
Still, most of those guys weren’t striking out batters like Beachy has so far. He has 72 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings as a major leaguer. This year, he has a 57/14 K/BB ratio in 50 1/3 innings.
That’s exceptionally encouraging, and it suggests that Beachy is here so stay. His fastball isn’t outstanding at 90-94 mph, but he has four legitimate pitches and very good command. Since I didn’t see a true outpitch, I viewed him as maybe a fifth starter and more likely a middle reliever entering this season. Now he looks much more like a legitimate No. 3.