Tommy Hanson was encouraged enough by three consecutive days of catch that the Braves sent left-hander Mike Minor back to Triple-A Gwinnett and penciled Hanson in to start Tuesday in Seattle.
Hanson has missed two starts while on the disabled list nursing shoulder tendinitis. A cortisone shot and rest have helped, and Hanson said his shoulder felt good after 50 long tosses and 25 pitches on flat ground Wednesday.
“Felt really good,” Hanson said. “All my pitches actually felt really good too. So hopefully I can stay right there.”
Hanson plans to throw a bullpen session on Friday in San Diego and if need be another light one on Sunday. But the way things are proceeding, he expects to get back on the mound Tuesday.
He said the shoulder doesn’t hurt him unless he throws hard and Wednesday he didn’t feel it when letting loose at about 90 percent effort.
“If I’m going to pitch next Tuesday I’ve got to let it go and see how it feels – if I’m even going to be able to throw a side,” Hanson said. “I think it’s good though. If it is tendinitis, I feel like it’s calmed down a lot, and hopefully it stays that way.”
An MRI last week revealed inflammation in the rotator cuff but no structural damage.
Hanson said he’d felt shoulder pain over each of his past three starts. It got to the point warming up in Houston for his last start June 12, he thought he was going to have to shut it down.
“In Houston when I was warming up I almost said something like, ‘I’m not pitching today, hurts too much,’” Hanson said. “Once I got out there it was fine. Just warming up it was not fun.”
Hanson managed to strike out a career-high 14 batters that day in seven innings of a 4-1 win. Hanson went 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA and .123 opponents’ average in those three starts, despite his discomfort.