MARCH 7: Beede will visit noted orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache for his previously-anticipated second opinion Monday, per various reporters (including Andrew Baggarly of the Athletic).
MARCH 4: The Giants announced Wednesday that an MRI on right-hander Tyler Beede revealed a flexor strain and a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. No immediate treatment plan was provided, as the club will be seeking second opinions for the time being. Beede exited his most recent spring outing due to tightness in his elbow. Beede tells reporters that his UCL is 75 percent intact and that he’s not expecting surgery at this time (Twitter link via Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle).
Beede, 26, was a leading candidate to break camp in the fifth spot in the Giants’ rotation behind Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly. Now, however, his outlook is considerably cloudier, which could open the door for an alternative option to seize that role. Just last week, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi listed Beede, Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez and Logan Webb as potential rotation candidates. The Giants also have veterans Trevor Cahill and Tyson Ross in camp on non-roster invitees.
At the very least, it looks exceedingly likely that Beede will open the season on the injured list. Obviously, though, any UCL injury and/or flexor strain comes with the possibility of a serious operation. Even non-surgical treatments for those types of injuries tend to come with lengthy rehab stints.
It’s a tough blow for Beede, a two-time first-round pick (Blue Jays in 2011, Giants in 2014) who has yet to cement himself as a consistent starter at the big league level. The right-hander started 22 games for the Giants in ’19 and racked up 117 innings, but he also struggled to a 5.08 ERA (5.03 FIP). Despite the Giants’ cavernous home park, the long ball was an issue for Beede (1.7 HR/9). There was perhaps some hope that a correction in the ball’s composition could help Beede. After all, he averaged 94.3 mph on a fastball with above-average spin. Beede’s 8.7 K/9 rate and 11.2 percent swinigng-strike rate both checked in better than that of the league-average starting pitcher as well.