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What comes next after Tyler Beede diagnosed with flexor strain, UCL sprain



Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Tyler Beede was about as upbeat as a pitcher can be following the diagnosis of a flexor strain and UCL sprain in his right elbow.

The power righty was in good spirits Wednesday following feeling elbow tightness a day earlier, which abbreviated his outing and sent him for an MRI.

Torn UCLs typically result in Tommy John surgery, but Beede said he was told “three-quarters” of the ligament looks “totally fine.” After his initial results, he is encouraged he will be able to avoid the operating table, but the second opinions that follow will decide where he goes from here. The Giants expect to have another update later this week.

If the 26-year-old indeed does not need surgery, he does need rest and plenty of it. He surely won’t be ready for Opening Day and figures to miss a good chunk of the season to rehab. Still, a baseball season is 162 games.

Upon receiving the news, Beede looked up past pitchers who have gotten the same diagnosis. Tampa’s Tyler Glasnow had a flexor strain last year and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks, but setbacks cost him four months. Matt Cain learned about his UCL sprain late in camp in 2015, then returned in early July.

Beede emphasized needing to embrace rest.

“I want to have the big-picture mindset of thinking about my career, thinking about how how long the season is, how much season is left,” Beede said at Scottsdale Stadium after an eventful 24 hours. “It’s best for me to take my rest now and just get everything feeling right.”

No timetable is set, and Gabe Kapler was hesitant to speculate (or rule out surgery) until they receive the second opinions. Kapler learned of the tightness when Beede informed him coming off the mound, though Beede first felt it after a live bullpen session a week and a half ago. He has dealt with spring fatigue and forearm discomfort in the past and didn’t think much of this hiccup.

He then felt great in his first spring outing, in which he touched 98 mph.

“Did my best to feel good [Tuesday],” said Beede, who appeared to be a front-runner for the last rotation spot. “Bullpen didn’t feel great, tried to come in and compete and it just didn’t feel great.”

Setbacks like this are part of the thinking behind the many, many, many pitching fliers in camp. Kapler mentioned Logan Webb, Shaun Anderson, Andrew Suarez, Trevor Oaks, Trevor Cahill and Tyson Ross as options for the rotation.

“I think it reinforces that we’re fairly deep,” Kapler said. “It’s not deep with established veteran players with a lot of success, but deep with starting-pitching possibilities.”