Beachy set for first start in nearly two years

Dodgers starter set to cap comeback from Tommy John surgeries

Beachy set for first start in nearly two years

LOS ANGELES -- The road back from a pair of Tommy John surgeries has been long and winding for starting pitcher Brandon Beachy, but his comeback will be complete Saturday.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly named Beachy the starter for Saturday's game against Milwaukee. This will be Beachy's first start since Aug. 20, 2013, as a member of the Atlanta Braves.

On Saturday, the Dodgers activated Beachy off the 60-day disabled list, optioning Josh Ravin to Triple-A Oklahoma City and designating for assignment right-handed pitcher Matt West.

"I feel like I'm ready to compete at this level," Beachy said. "There's always that hurdle that is only going to come when I'm on a big league mound and I can't clear that until I get out there."

Beachy is filling in for Carlos Frias, who is on the disabled list with lower-back tightness. Beachy has made five rehab starts since the middle of June -- four with Triple-A Oklahoma City, and one with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. Beachy threw 93 pitches Monday for Oklahoma City, and Mattingly said he won't be under any limitations on the mound.

"The only reservation I have is that he's going to be a little jacked up and a little nervous and you don't know how it's going to go that very first game," Mattingly said. "That being said, we've been through a lot of different guys, but we feel like he gives us the best chance to win."

Beachy underwent Tommy John surgery for the first time in June 2012, after posting a 2.00 ERA in 13 starts that season. He returned in the middle of the season in 2013, making five starts, but had the procedure again during Spring Training in 2014. In his career, the 28-year-old owns a 14-11 record with a 3.23 ERA.

"Endless and long. A lot of ups and downs," Beachy said of his path back to the Majors. "At times, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. There were some dark days, but it's something I'm glad I've been through and it's something I'll always remember."

Beachy was scheduled to make another rehab start for Oklahoma City on Saturday, and Mattingly was hesitant to name Beachy as a possible starter on Thursday. However, after talking with GM Farhan Zaidi, Beachy was convincing enough that he was ready to be named the starter.

"I guess he had some conversations with Farhan and the guys and he was absolutely ready to go and that's what we needed to hear," Mattingly said. "We weren't concerned as much with the physical part of it."

For Beachy, that drive to get back on the mound helped him through his dark days of rehab and pushed him to get back on the mound.

"It's that competitive spirit. Wanting to compete and feeling that again," Beachy said. "To have everything on the line and have it mean something, that's not something you can recreate anywhere else. I want to have that feeling again."

Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.