Hanson off DL Tuesday; McCann All-Star lead grows


SEATTLE — Tommy Hanson’s second bullpen session Sunday was better than the first two days earlier, and the Braves right-hander was excited about returning from the DL to start Tuesday.

He missed two starts recovering from rotator-cuff tendinitis in his pitching shoulder.

“It feels good,” Hanson said. “Just getting back my game. It’s been a couple of weeks. I just want to get back out there and hopefully pick up where I left off.”

He’s 8-4 with a 2.48 ERA that is the third-lowest among NL starters behind teammate Jair Jurrjens (2.07) and Phillies ace Roy Halladay (2.40).

Hanson is coming back without making a minor-league rehab start. After resting nearly a week, he’s thrown two flat-ground sessions and two bullpen sessions.

“I don’t think I took long enough off to have to make a rehab start,” he said. “The sooner I get back out there, for me, the better. Everything feels good. There shouldn’t be any problems.”

Schafer’s slipped

Center fielder Jordan Schafer hit .292 with a double, six walks, two strikeouts and a .433 OBP in his first six games after arriving from Triple-A last month.

But in 23 games since then, he was 19-for-93 (.204) with six walks, 20 strikeouts and a .253 OBP, albeit with six extra-base hits and eight steals in 10 attempts.

Schafer was out of the lineup Monday because manager Fredi  Gonzalez wanted to give rookie backup Wilkin Ramirez a start. Ramirez was in left and Nate McLouth moved back over from left to his original center-field spot, which Schafer has played since McLouth strained an oblique last month.

With Schafer’s production down, Gonzalez was asked about possibly moving McLouth back to the leadoff spot, where he has plenty of experience.

“For me, that is the place [Schafer’s] got to hit,” Gonzalez said. “I guess you could flip-flop Nate and him, but I think Nate’s been comfortable down there and turns the lineup over. He does a good job down there.”

McLouth was 5-for-18 with three doubles, five walks and a .458 on-base percentage in seven games since returning last week from DL.

For the season, he was batting .324 with a .462 OBP in 24 games at the No. 8 spot, with eight doubles, two homers and 16 runs.

McCann’s All-Star lead grows

Brian McCann had more than 3 million All-Star votes, far ahead of second-place Yadier Molina’s 2.27 million in fan balloting for National League catcher. Voting closes at MLB.com at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, and McCann will likely be voted a starter for the first time in his sixth consecutive All-Star Game.

Chipper Jones was second among NL third basemen with 2.04 million votes, well behind the Phillies’ Placido Polanco (3.26 million).

Prado update

Left fielder Martin Prado continues to progress in his return from staph infection and  could be cleared to begin running and other baseball activities any day.

He has missed three weeks after having surgery to remove staph from his right calf. Incisions must be left unstitched and allowed to heal from the bottom up in the case of staph-infection surgical procedures.

Prado was cleared to begin light upper-body weight work last week, and over the weekend began working with a heavy medicine ball for upper-body and core conditioning.

The Braves hope to have him back before the All-Star break or soon after.

46 comments Add your comment

David from Athens, AL

June 27th, 2011
9:36 pm

Good News on Prado!!

thomas bickel

June 27th, 2011
9:39 pm

Nice update, Mr O’Brien. I enjoy your column and your fine work on twitter as well. Keep up the good work…

John in Eclectic, AL

June 27th, 2011
9:53 pm

Thanks for your twitter updates. I am enjoying them from the pier at the lake. Your tweeting makes it much easier to keep up with the Braves on the fly.

Heisenberg

June 27th, 2011
10:24 pm

For a while it looked like Schafer would take the CF job and Nate would be DFA. But now it is looking like Schafer is heading back up I-85 when Prado returns. I seem to recall Lugo has some CF experience and could serve as backup CF. Here is hoping one of the vultures circling Chavez Ravine is wearing a Braves jersey.

[...] The Braves need Martin Prado back. David O’Brien over at the AJC Braves blog has been reporting that he’ll be back sooner r…, and I can’t wait. When he comes back, I expect McLouth to shift over to center. This will [...]

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

MikeY

June 28th, 2011
6:44 am

Need a trade. I crave Matt Kemp.

Another Clueless Braves Blogger

June 28th, 2011
6:57 am

All these people that want Matt Kemp are really going out on a limb. I would love for the Braves to get Kemp as well, but I don’t think that’s going to happen unless we give away like value. Maybe the soon-to-be bankrupt Dodgers will do something desperate a la the Marlins in years past, and give us Kemp for Kawakami and McClouth.

MikeY

June 28th, 2011
8:08 am

I’d trade value (Delgado, say) if we could sign Kemp to an extension. We have plenty of pitching. And next year, with McLouth and Kawakami off the payroll we will have the money for Kemp.

MikeY

ghost_brave

June 28th, 2011
9:22 am

You guys are crazy… Kemp for Kawakami and McClouth? We couldn’t give either of them away for free, let alone for currently the best player in the game.

It’d take Jurrjens/Hanson and some of our top prospects, at least.

MikeY

June 28th, 2011
9:33 am

I agree w/ you ghost_brave. It will take some serious value to get Kemp. The is atill arbitration-eligible for next year then is a free agent for the 2013 season.

I think some prospects would be enough…the Dodgers need to shed some payroll. One issue is that team control is up in the air…

Rudy

June 28th, 2011
9:47 am

I was really hoping Schafer will take over CF :( …I still think he is the best Lead off hitter we have…he might not get on base but he works the count and makes the pitcher throw lot of pitches.

ken

June 28th, 2011
9:48 am

Here it is:
Mike Minor, Jordan Schaffer, Arodys Vizcaino, Diory Hernandez, and Christian Bethencourt to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp and Kenley Jansen

Would be good for both orgnizations!!

Nostradamus

June 28th, 2011
10:17 am

I predict Matt Kemp’s Mom, Jan, will bring down UGA football in the near future.

Obee

June 28th, 2011
10:46 am

Remember, Schafer is still essentially a rookie, still learning the ropes.

ChillyMutt

June 28th, 2011
12:43 pm

Good to hear that Prado’s recovery is moving along.
With him coming back strong and when Uggla turns it around, we’ll score plenty of runs. And if Schafer continues to improve that could be one scary offense.

longtime braves fan

June 28th, 2011
1:07 pm

when martin prado returns,the braves will be the best team in baseball.we already have the best pitching staff.If the club can avg.4 runs a game we win it all.This all can be accomplished without matt kemp.

longtime braves fan

June 28th, 2011
1:11 pm

think about it. prado is the man.had we had him last year during the playoffs we never loose to sf.he makes everyone else better on the team.this is really going to be a fun summer.

longtime braves fan

June 28th, 2011
1:14 pm

the phillies know this as well.speaking of the phillies they are in boston, maybe we can make some hey while the sun is shinning.

Remarkable

June 28th, 2011
1:57 pm

Chipper and McCann and a couple of pitchers may be our only All-Stars this year.

Horner's Corner

June 28th, 2011
3:55 pm

“Chipper and McCann and a couple of pitchers may be our only All-Stars this year.”

That’s a rather cynical post. I would think having 4 or 5 Braves on the All-Star team would be a positive for both the organization and Braves fans. Remarkable how some can fault in almost anything.

Brave New World

June 28th, 2011
4:35 pm

ghost brave: I would be willing to sweeten the trade for Matt Kemp by including Larry Parrish as well.

MWC

June 28th, 2011
4:55 pm

ghost…JJ is going nowhere.

William

June 28th, 2011
5:01 pm

Once everyone gets healthy, and if Uggla starts to hit, this team could go and win the World Series.

jim

June 28th, 2011
5:02 pm

Schafer’s first six games included several bloops, bunts, infield hits and a misplayed drive that went for a double. Schafer’s last 10 games have included at least 1/2 dozen line drives that found a glove and one robbed HR. He is still working the count and actually hitting the ball better than when he first came up. Schafer ran into a lot of bad luck in the Toronto series and some very good pitching in San Diego. The numbers don’t tell the full story on how he has been hitting lately. The most important number for Schafer is 20 runs scored in 29 games. If that percentage continues, the other numbers are secondary.

kudzu

June 28th, 2011
5:04 pm

How about Jair Jurrjens for an All Star?

Eric

June 28th, 2011
5:05 pm

who got sent down for hanson?

Eric

June 28th, 2011
5:06 pm

do we know the lineup for tonight?

David O'Brien

June 28th, 2011
5:10 pm

Asencio, as I posted in main blog just while ago. Already optioned to Triple-A.

Eric

June 28th, 2011
5:23 pm

Thanks david didn’t have time to read the story yet.

willie g hates bill shanks

June 28th, 2011
5:23 pm

good blog dave, who is the dh for the braves tonight?

jim

June 28th, 2011
5:30 pm

I hope the lineup includes Schafer — CF, McLouth — LF, Chipper — 3B, and Hinske — DH

stachemoney22

June 28th, 2011
5:36 pm

Potential trade targets: nobody has mentioned ethier. I know that he’s a left handed bat and a sure bet type A but man hed be awesome to add to the lineup. Chris heisey is an underrated guy blocked in cinci; hed be another solid addition

Hatmatbbat10

June 28th, 2011
6:00 pm

I agree with you Jim. I think Schafer is still more valuable then his numbers have been saying. He’s still a rookie and I think he can pick it up again. He works the count and is getting some quality at bats, just hasn’t been getting on base the last couple games.

John Galt

June 28th, 2011
6:05 pm

jim-

You ae exactly right about Schaffer- you can’t see his complete value every game in the box score. He does work the count, gets on base, forces hurried errors- and is essentially a rookie. He also annoys pitchers when he is on base. I like the defense right now with Nate in left but Jordan needs to be nailed to CF. Besides, Nate is gone after this year, no doubt.

If Prado can maintain his offense while moving around, he can be our leffielder- Prado can give Chipper and Uggla a day off evry week, with McLouth getting some at bats while he does.

henry from TN

June 28th, 2011
6:17 pm

just listen to all these dreams the braves are not gonna get kemp nor go to the world series nor even get to the play offs if their on base % and offense don’t get better and i don’t see that happening….

63 year Braves fan

June 28th, 2011
6:28 pm

I still think Hunter Pence would be the guy to trade for. Offer Minor, Diory Hernandez , and Gearin,
for him. Astros need Pitching.

63 year Braves fan

June 28th, 2011
6:32 pm

Bring up Teheran. Move Lowe to the bullpen to help with 6th and 7th inning needs.

rAdnay

June 28th, 2011
6:39 pm

Chippie an all star? Parity has made bums like him look good to the young. Home cooking covers his errors and questional hits. He’s over the hill and rides for the money. He needs to retire and learn how to talk. Bum!

KB

June 28th, 2011
7:02 pm

Another example of how pathetic Atlanta fans are. Chipper Jones, one of the greatest Braves to ever don a Braves uniform, gets beat out by Placido Polanco – a former utility player and journeyman. As a Braves fan, I’m embarrassed. Once again.

Brownie

June 28th, 2011
7:11 pm

Great laughs reading all these Interim GM’s making all of these trades!! First, nobody (not even the desperate Dodgers) are gonna take our crap for Matt Kemp, and I’m not willing to make another Texeira trade here.

Even if Wren did elect to bring in a big outfield bat, where would you put him?? You’re not gonna sit down Heyward or Prado, and Jordan S is the only guy who brings speed to our lineup. Everyone needs to chill out about Schafer – he’s only a rookie, let’s be a little patient. He’s 5 times the outfielder McLouth is, has a better arm (and willing to use it), actually successfully steals bases, and WILL turn into a very strong leadoff hitter.

We’re not gonna sit down Chipper or Freeman, Gonzo is too good defensively (not gonna bring in another SS with a big bat), and Uggla CAN’T continue to play this poorly (plus too much invested in a guy who is currently untradeable).

So….no room to bring anyone in right now – ride the season out with this team. IF Uggla and Heyward heat up, and Prado returns in good form, I like our chances a lot.

When Chipper retires (or goes down with a career enging injury…I hope not) and Lowe is gone, THEN Wren can make his move for a big outfield bat.

kurula

June 28th, 2011
7:17 pm

chipper has more runs scored, more RBI, HR, doubles, walks, a higher OBP, SLG, and OPS than placido polanco and is in the top 4 in all the important offensive categories. chipper was so good (great, even) for so long that these numbers seem pedestrian. the fact of the matter is, he is STILL one of the better third basemen in the league. you can hate on him all you want, but the numbers don’t lie.

kurula

June 28th, 2011
7:23 pm

oops, not more runs scored. but only 2 fewer.

John A.

June 28th, 2011
7:42 pm

I haven’t heard anyone say or print….how did Prado get this infection? I wouldn’t think they just appear!!!

Blog comments are retarded

June 28th, 2011
11:30 pm

John A., I believe he got a cut sliding on the base paths, but I may be “misremembering”.

braveshoo

June 29th, 2011
6:40 am

I agree with those who say you cant measure Schafer’s value by his BA. His speed is key, and he scores runs. Just as important, he is the best CF we have had since Andruw Jones. He covers a lot of ground, and has a strong arm. Give him time and his BA and OBP will increase.

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