ATLANTA -- Brandon Beachy's hopes of pitching again this season essentially ended three weeks ago when he continued to feel right elbow discomfort. But after undergoing a surgical procedure on Thursday, Beachy was given reason to believe he will be ready for the start of next season.
Dr. James Andrews removed some foreign particles that had been causing Beachy to deal with inflammation that was causing the elbow discomfort the Braves pitcher battled much of this summer. With a three-month rehab now ahead of him, Beachy could certainly be ready for the start of next season.
"It was probably the best news we could hope for," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "The normal return is three months for this type of surgery. He should come into Spring Training on time and 100 percent."
Beachy was shut down in June, just a few days before he was scheduled to make his first Major League start since undergoing Tommy John surgery 12 months earlier. He returned to Atlanta's rotation in late July and made five starts before being shut down yet again.
As the past few weeks have elapsed, the Braves never gained the sense that Beachy's discomfort was a product of the ligament damage, which could have created the possibility of undergoing a second Tommy John procedure. Andrews confirmed the less problematic diagnosis during this latest procedure.
McCann strains groin, likely won't miss much time
ATLANTA -- Braves catcher Brian McCann exited Thursday night's 7-1 win over the Phillies in the second inning because of some tightness near his right groin muscle. But early indications are that he could return to action this weekend, or at least by the start of next week's National League Division Series.
"Worst-case scenario is we don't play him for seven days, until that first playoff game," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think he's going to be OK."
Speaking with reporters after the game, McCann said he believed the worst-case scenario would indeed call for him to sit out the final three-regular season games this weekend and be ready for Game 1 of the NLDS on Thursday.
"I'm going to be day to day," McCann said. "I'm going to see how it is tomorrow. I felt like if I needed to sprint or run, I could hurt it real bad. I just caught it before [it got bad]."
The Braves termed McCann's injury as a right adductor strain, which is the same ailment that sidelined B.J. Upton for three weeks after the All-Star break. But early indications are that McCann began treating his ailment soon enough to prevent it from becoming as severe as Upton's.
McCann began feeling some stiffness while catching starting pitcher David Hale in the bullpen before the game. The seven-time All-Star continued to feel discomfort as he struck out during a six-pitch at-bat that included four swings during Atlanta's five-run first inning against Tyler Cloyd.
After catching the second inning, McCann informed Gonzalez of the ailment and then went to the clubhouse to get treatment.
"If you leave him in the game, you take the risk of taking something that is small and making it even worse," Gonzalez said. "I'm glad he came up to me."
Veteran backup Gerald Laird caught the remainder of the game, and he will likely be in the lineup when the Braves face Cliff Lee and the Phillies on Friday night.
McCann stands by his reaction to Gomez
ATLANTA -- When Brian McCann returned to Turner Field on Thursday afternoon, he remained confident that he reacted appropriately to Carlos Gomez's animated home run trot that led to a benches-clearing confrontation with the Brewers on Wednesday night.
"In the heat of the moment, I did what I thought was right," McCann said. "I stand by what I did. I'm sticking up for this team. That's a part of baseball. Reading what he said last night, I think he agrees with it."
When Gomez admired the first-inning home run he hit off Paul Maholm, McCann yelled some choice words that essentially equated to "run." Gomez then continued to yell at Maholm in response to the fact that the Atlanta left-hander had hit him with a pitch on June 23.
This led to what caught the attention of the baseball world. Incensed by what he was witnessing, McCann moved approximately 10 feet up the third-base line and waited for Gomez. The heated, nose-to-nose argument that ensued led to the benches-clearing incident that prevented Gomez from ever touching the plate. He was awarded the run because of the obstruction rule.
"He rounded third base and was still yelling," McCann said. "I was furious. I don't even know what happened after that. I can watch it, but that's just what happened.
"If you want to sit there and watch [a home run] for a few seconds, I'm OK with that. But to yell the whole way around the bases, I just felt like I needed to say something. I don't think that is part of the game of baseball. I thought he showed up our whole team. So I did what I felt any catcher would do in that situation, and that is sticking up for his team."
This marked the second time in two weeks that the Braves were involved in a benches-clearing incident. McCann also had words with Jose Fernandez after the Marlins rookie pitcher admired his first career home run and then completed his own animated home run trot on Sept. 11 at Marlins Park.
Fernandez was upset that Evan Gattis had admired a home run he had hit off him during the previous half-inning. McCann maintained a controlled tone as he talked to Fernandez. Such was not the case with Gomez.
Gomez has since said that he understood McCann's reaction. In a similar manner, the Braves catcher said he still respects Gomez's tremendous talent as a player.
"I think he's a great baseball player," McCann said. "He's an exciting baseball player to watch. I just think last night, to be screaming around the bases, I just took exception to it."
• Jordan Walden has been pleased with the way he has thrown during his last couple of bullpen sessions. Walden has struggled in two of the three appearances he has made since missing three weeks with a strained groin. The right-handed reliever has less than a week to give the Braves confidence that he is healthy enough to be put on the National League Division Series roster.
• Reed Johnson took live batting practice against Minor Leaguer Mark Lamm on Thursday afternoon, and he will likely be in the lineup for Friday night's game against Cliff Lee and the Phillies. This will be his first start since he strained his left Achilles on July 28. The Braves want to get a sense of where he stands with the hope that he will be available to serve as a pinch-hitter during the postseason.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.