Lake Buena Vista, Fla. - So it’s Tommy Hanson day here at the ballyard, otherwise known as Sunday. Or Duke-Carolina day, for some of us, who will appreciate if Hanson works fast for an ole 4 p.m. tipoff. Whaddya say?
But hey, baseball wise, I’ve got plenty of news for you here. Sit tight and let me give you a little rapid fire. And then I’ll pass on some comments Frank Wren gave me yesterday about Hanson.
Off we go…
Jordan Schafer took some “dry” swings today and some off the tee and came away with his shoulder feeling OK. He’s got a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder that’s kept him out a week. The last time he tried to take bp, he ended up in a lot of pain.
This time he’s taking it slow, with 30 swings today. And tomorrow he’ll take some live pitching at Braves camp. (It’s an off day, but Kawakami will get a simulated game in.) If that goes well, Schafer expects to get in a game Tuesday vs. the Astros in Kissimmee. That’s the same day when Rafael Soriano is scheduled to debut.
Tom Glavine threw his second round of batting practice this morning, building up to a little shy of 10 minutes off the mound. He was still throwing at about 70 percent but was happier with how the ball was coming out. “Firmer” was the word both he and hitter Matt Diaz used. So step by step, Glavine’s arm strength is moving in the right direction.
He expects to throw a couple more times on the side, or maybe one more round of bp, and then throw a simulated game a week from Monday, meaning March 16.
Talked to Garret Anderson and he’s not big on giving timetables, but reading between the lines, I’d say it’ll be a couple of weeks on his calf. We’ll see what Bobby Cox has to say about it after the game, but don’t think we’ll be seeing Garret swinging a bat any time soon.
Phil Stockman said he’s having the same shooting pain down his left leg that he’s battled off an on for two years. They’ve tried to treat it conservatively and Stockman felt good coming in to camp, but then once on the mound, letting it go fullspeed, and he was right back in a good deal of pain. Every time he stands up, he said, he can feel a shooting pain.
He’s going to have an MRI in the next day or so to find out if it’s something that will require surgery. I guess the question is whether it’s something that can be scoped, maybe an impinged nerve, he said, or if it’s something more serious. He said he was told last year after an MRI that he had two herniated discs in his back but didn’t need surgery. They don’t always immediately cut on those, if you can manage the pain, etc, and you’re young like he is. There are always risks involved in spinal surgery.
Anyway, he seems pretty relieved that he’s going to at least find out one way or another. Obviously a pretty frustrated bloke and tired of being in pain.
OK, I asked Frank for his thoughts on Hanson and whether he’ll give the Braves a hard decision.
“This is exactly what we expected,” Wren said. “He hasn’t made it hard on us. This is what we expected him, based on what we saw last year and saw in the fall, these are good problems to have. Having to put a team together based on good options, not putting a team together by default.
It sounds to me like they’d like to play it conservatively with Hanson if they can.
“He’s thrown the ball very well here,” Wren said. “He’s surely not disappointed in what we’ve seen so far, but the facts are he hasn’t pitched in AAA. He hasn’t pitched at the major league level yet. If you have the opportunity and there’s not a need to rush a young player, I think it’s probably always more prudent to be cautious. You want guys to go along at a pace that they maintain their positive movement, as well as a positive attitude, as well as keeping their confidence. I don’t see any of those being an issue for him, but in general, those are some of the guidelines that we try to follow, moving at a pace that allows them to remain confident and keep a positive momentum going.”
By the way, it’s a good thing I like “the Logical Song.” They play it every day here at Disney, about this time before a game.
And speaking of, World Champs are here today. We’ll see if the Braves have a little better shot at them in spring than they did last season. Ahem. By the way, this will surely jinx it now, but the Braves are undefeated with me here. 4-0, baby. Just sayin.
Without further ado, the lineups (and you get both, because it’s the Phillies, Marcus Giles is here, and I’m nice):
Marcus Giles 3B
Jayson Werth CF
Raul Ibanez LF
Ryan Howard 1B
John Mayberry Jr. RF
Jason Donald 2B
Eric Bruntlett SS
Ronny Paulino C
Joe Blanton P
Omar Infante CF
Martin Prado 3B
Kelly Johnson 2B
Freddie Freeman 1B
Yunel Escobar SS
Jeff Francoeur RF
Brandon Jones LF
Clint Sammons C
Tommy Hanson P