06/19/12 8:26 PM ET
Braves have signed 26 of 40 Draft picks
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
First-round selection Lucas Sims signed for $1.65 million two days after the Draft and has already started his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Braves. The hard-throwing right-handed pitcher from suburban Atlanta's Brookwood High School stands as just one of the four high school products the Braves have signed thus far.
The Braves have not yet signed seventh-round selection David Starn, a left-handed pitcher who is still competing in the College World Series with Kent State University. The only other unsigned player among their top 15 selections is Levi Borders, a catcher from Florida's Winter Haven High School who was taken in the 11th round.
Braves planning to be without Beachy
NEW YORK -- Brandon Beachy will meet with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday before learning whether he will need to undergo Tommy John surgery. But with confirmation that he has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the Braves are already planning for the possibility that he will not pitch the remainder of the season.
Jair Jurrjens will provide an immediate fix when he comes up from the Minors to take Beachy's turn in the rotation during Friday night's series opener against the Red Sox. Whether the former All-Star can provide the kind of reliability the Braves are seeking remains to be seen.
"I'm curious to see him pitch, obviously not under these circumstances where somebody gets hurt, but it's good to have a guy who made the All-Star Game last year," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "This could be a big pickup if he goes back to the form he had last year."
If Jurrjens struggles like he did while posting a 9.37 ERA before being demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett in late April, the Braves will have even more reason to aggressively pursue Ryan Dempster or any of the other attractive starting pitchers that might be available on the trade market.
To fit Dempster or another of these pitchers within the constraints of this year's payroll, the Braves will need to be creative. With Chipper Jones and now Indians pitcher Derek Lowe both coming off of their payroll next year, the Braves will have some money to play with on the free-agent market this winter.
But still uncomfortable by the results of the 2009 offseason, when they acquired Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami on the free-agent market, the Braves might use some of the money budgeted for the future to address their needs on this year's trade market.
Freddie Freeman returned to the Braves' lineup on Tuesday after missing five straight starts because of a swollen left index finger. Freeman has been bothered by discomfort since getting hit on the left hand with a Jose Reyes throw on June 7.
Gonzalez said he is planning to use Brian McCann as his catcher and Chipper Jones as the designated hitter for Wednesday afternoon's series finale against the Yankees.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.