Hanson progressing; Jurrjens still 2 weeks from mound

PHILADELPHIA – The Braves don’t know if they’ll get Tommy Hanson or Jair Jurrjens back in their starting rotation before  or during the postseason, but developments Sunday and Monday at least gave them some hope.

Jurrjens flew to Colorado over the weekend for a second opinion on his injured right knee from Dr. Richard Steadman, who concurred with the original diagnosis of a bone bruise and no other structural damage.

However, Jurrjens said he was advised not to throw off a mound for another two weeks, which would make it difficult for the right-hander to prepare and show he’s ready for the first round of the playoffs that starts Oct. 1.

“He’s going to try a different brace and continue his rehab and try to get back on the mound,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I don’t know when that would be, as far as the timeline.”

Hanson could be back sooner. The right-hander, on the disabled list recovering from a small undersurface rotator-cuff tear in his pitching shoulder, reported no discomfort during a long-toss workout Tuesday that included two sets of 30 throws each from 120 feet.

That was followed by a brief session of flat-ground throws simulating pitching from the stretch.

“It feels fine,” said Hanson, who hopes to make a minor-league rehabilitation start and then one or two major league starts before the regular season ends. “I want to get back and help the team as much as a I can. But I still feel like we’re over a week away [from a rehab start], so just try to focus on what I need to do right now.”

Hanson was encouraged that his shoulder felt so much stronger now than at a similar rehab stage following a sore shoulder in June. That was diagnosed as tendinitis, but was likely the same tear that was later discovered through a dye-contrast MRI after the pain returned.

“I’d like to get a start or two in the regular season, if I can,” he said. “We’ve just got to wait and see. I don’t want to push it like last time and then be done [because of a reinjury]. But at the same time, I don’t know to go too slow and then not have enough time to come back.

“[There is] peace of mind this time. Where last time I know something was bothering me, but we just didn’t know what it was. It’s definitely making me feel better that I went out and threw that much and my arm felt good.”

During his Sunday visit with Steadman in Vail, Col., Jurrjens was fitted for a knee brace that should arrive this week and ease some of pressure on the area of the bone bruise. Jurrjens, who rejoined the Braves in Philadelphia, was told to strengthen the quadriceps muscle in the next two weeks to alleviate some of the pressure in the joint that caused the bruise.

“I’ve got some exercises they think might help,” he said. “Right now it [quadriceps muscle] is not holding the joint apart; every time I drive [it’s banging together].”

Jurrjens had arthroscopic knee surgery on the same knee in October, after missing the Braves’ late-September stretch drive and first-round playoff loss. He hopes he doesn’t miss the postseason again this year, and Gonzalez mentioned the possibility of having Jurrjens pitch in the team’s instructional league in late September, since minor league seasons will be over.

Depth has kept Braves afloat

Jurrjens and Hanson were the Braves’ best starters in the first half, combining for a 22-7 record and 2.15 ERA in 33 starts before the All-Star break. They have only one win apiece since the break, for a combined 2-6 record and 6.75 ERA in just12 starts.

The Braves have relied on pitching depth in the minor leagues to maintain a lead in the National League wild-card race, relying on rookie left-hander Mike Minor to fill in as rotation regular in recent weeks and spot starts from  prospects Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran.

Gonzalez said either Teheran or Delgado would move to the bullpen after Teheran makes a spot start in Thursday’s doubleheader against the Mets, but said he wasn’t sure which it would be.

They would need three or four starters for the best-of-five division series in the first round of the playoffs, and Gonzalez was asked about the possibility of trying to make do without Hanson or Jurrjens.

The Braves have Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe and rookie Brandon Beachy, and would presumably fill the fourth spot with Minor if neither Hanson nor Jurrjens was ready for the first round.

“I’m not even there yet,” Gonzalez said. “Why worry about that stuff that can change any minute. We could get Tommy back and we could get J.J. back, so why even lose sleep over that?”

He was asked which of the two, Jurrjens or Hanson, he felt more confident might return before the postseason.

“About the same,” Gonzalez said after thinking about the question for a moment. “Tommy may be closer. I don’t know. There’s nothing wrong with  J.J.’s soldier.

“Hopefully we can get ‘em both back.”

48 comments Add your comment

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
7:53 pm

The Phillies are just a far superior team than the Braves. It shows in every thing the two teams do. The Phillies are doing what great teams do this time of year, they are peaking. The Braves are doing what a inconsistent team does and that is taking a step back. If the Braves get into the playoffs, they will get dismantled in the first round. Sure they have a winning record, but they don’t look like a playoff team now.

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
7:54 pm

Oh and by the way, I am what the Braves have no shot at, I am first.

dawgsfan1990

September 5th, 2011
8:03 pm

at least it sounds like both Tommy and JJ are in a good place mentally…

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
8:03 pm

Derek Blowe is so predictable. May as well throw in the white flag every five days if Derek Blowe is the best you can throw out there.

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
8:12 pm

God this team can never do anything in must win games. Now Blowe tries his hardest to piss one away on a throw to first and Freeman bales his pathetic ass out again. Another 2 out hit gives the Phillies a 4 run lead. This team f’n sucks. I hope a more deserving team gets the NL Wild Card spot. Now because the ump doesn’t want the Braves to get flat out embarrassed, he calls Victorino out at home when he was safe. The Phillies don’t need that run, they have enough to sail the rest of the way.

[...] According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hanson reported no discomfort after throwing from a distance of 120 feet Monday. He is at least one week away from a rehab start, but hopes to make one or two starts with the [...]

mark

September 5th, 2011
8:13 pm

if we pitch lowe in the playoffs it will be conceeding defeat, Huddy,beachy,delgado or minor and keep jj out to 86 mph fastball ain’t gettin it.

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
8:16 pm

Freeman swings at a pitch that bounces two feet in front of the plate, yet he strikes out on a pitch right down the middle that he just looks at. Not to mention that the Braves got 3 outs faster than it took Victorino to steal second base. Another game and playing like they don’t have a heartbeat.

pdt

September 5th, 2011
8:19 pm

Watching the game tonight it seems clear that we’re not in the same league as the Phillies. No way we’re going to get past them in the play offs.

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
8:19 pm

Hope the Braves are good at golfing, they will be on the course in just a couple of weeks at this rate, and deservingly so.

Hank Aaron

September 5th, 2011
8:21 pm

Biggest series of the year and Chipper is on the bench……If we cant count on you then retire !

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
8:22 pm

Pdt,

I agree. although that was the case long before this game. Blowe has 2 strikes on Utley and yet gives up a triple and was damn near a homerun. Damn Blowe, can you say washed up you loser?

Braves fan in NY

September 5th, 2011
8:23 pm

Hey BravesfaninWis…simmer down on your braves critiques…give em a break, they are 20+ games over 500 without JJ and Hanson…what more do u want? We know philly is better but so what? Win 4of7 in the playoffs and send them packin…..go milk a cow and turn the game off

Braves fan in NY

September 5th, 2011
8:24 pm

Wisconsin…LOL

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
8:25 pm

What do you know, that useless piece of crap gives up another run and the Phillies still aren’t done. Guys on second and third with one out. The Braves are out classed in every possible category when being compared to the Phillies.

smallmouth6

September 5th, 2011
8:26 pm

Braves fan in NY: Well said. But, this is crunch time and it’s time for Tommy and JJ to play ball.

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
8:30 pm

Screw that, they have done same crap year after year, they deserve to be bashed. What good is 20 games over .500 when you fall completely on your faces in the most important time of the year? If they do get lucky enough to make the playoffs, they will just get their asses kicked in the first round again.

BravesfaninWis

September 5th, 2011
8:33 pm

This ass kicking couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Derek Blowe, the embezzling alcoholic himself.

SportsRadio PD

September 5th, 2011
8:39 pm

Wow, your whatinWis? Oh, a bravefannyWus, now I get it. 25 games over 500 & a lock for the wild card and that’s still not enough, your a tough sell Wus, I mean Wis. BTW, Braves can’t play Phills in 1st round since they’re in the same division. The Phills are a better team but, the history of The World Series is littered w/teams that “should have” won.

up north

September 5th, 2011
8:40 pm

It does not matter if they make it to the playoffs. When they need to win most, they suck. Gosh, Lowe is terrible! They will get blown away in the playoffs.

ray

September 5th, 2011
8:46 pm

we knew we’d lose tonight, but should be more competitive. still can’t handle lefties well. Lowe pitched okay last start so not surprised about this outing. it could have even been worse- we lost out on Burnett to yanks and then settled for Lowe. we would have been stuck wiht an extra year of expensive crap pitching.

TS

September 5th, 2011
8:46 pm

The Braves are going to make the playoffs. Anything can happen in a 7 game series. At least our franchise is always there. Think if you are a Mets fan or a Dodgers fan… that is suffering..

SportsRadio PD

September 5th, 2011
8:48 pm

Well said TS

Atlantarama

September 5th, 2011
8:48 pm

This isn’t a must-win game or even a must-win series. The Braves shouldn’t play their A-game against the Phillies until it really counts: the post-season.

Remember that trivia question?

September 5th, 2011
8:55 pm

Will someone please tell me the answer to the trivia question (which active pitcher has the most 10-win seasons) so that I can turn this game off and put myself out of my misery? I have Googled it every way I can think of and cannot find the answer. I’m so tired of Peachtree TV holding the audience hostage by withholding the answer in a lousy game like this one.

Robert

September 5th, 2011
8:56 pm

The Braves have been snakebitten the past few years with injuries. (Remember last year?) It’s extremely frustrating but fans have to accept that no one is to blame for injuries (other than Lady Luck) so some folks here need to keep their cool. Injuries are no excuse and are certainly part of the game but this has to at least be pointed out: Hanson and Jurrjens are the Braves top two starters. Any team that loses it’s top two starters is in a deep hole. It’s like a batter with two strikes on him. Hard to overcome the loss of your top two starters in the playoffs. But if by some miracle Hanson and Jurrjens are 100% for the playoffs I think the Braves have as good a chance as any team, and yes that includes the Phillies.

SportsRadio PD

September 5th, 2011
9:01 pm

Braves a very good team, Phills are an excellent team, but next year the Braves will be even better and the already old phillies will just be a year older. What’s more the Braves could still win it all, granted not likely but more unlikely things have happened.

Have all the negative talkers forgotten that this game only puts the Phills one game up on Atlanta for the season?

And yes, this one has gotten ugly. (Look, Moylans back)

smallmouth6

September 5th, 2011
9:04 pm

Mitchell, quit posing as BravesfaninWis.

Peter

September 5th, 2011
9:40 pm

How the hell was this a must win game? Yesterday was a must win game to avoid a long losing streak, and we won. There is only one number that matters right now. 14. Our magic number. We are not going to catch the Phillies in the East. Just get in. Worry about the rest when we get to that point.

dreamer

September 5th, 2011
9:51 pm

Braves comeback in the 9th and win!!!!!! W O W…

dreamer

September 5th, 2011
9:52 pm

MAde ya think about it anyway

Rowsdower

September 5th, 2011
11:36 pm

Lowe simply cannot be trusted to pitch in the playoffs. If he does Fredi is an idiot. There is just no way he can give us a chance to win. Even the outs tonight were loud. We have enough pitching to avoid that trainwreck. Get well soon, Tommy. We need you in a BIG way.

There is nothing positive to discuss about tonight’s game. At least we carved another game off our magic number.

Weather permitting, go get em tomorrow boys!

Mitchell

September 6th, 2011
1:41 am

Hank Aaron

September 5th, 2011
8:21 pm

Biggest series of the year and Chipper is on the bench……If we cant count on you then retire !

No, the biggest series of the year was in July right before the All Star break.

That was when the Braves decided not to bother with the Phillies.

Mitchell

September 6th, 2011
1:50 am

smallmouth6

September 5th, 2011
9:04 pm

Mitchell, quit posing as BravesfaninWis.

Do you hear me criticizing Derek Lowe? Or anybody on the Braves pitching staff for that matter?

My issue is and has been with Larry Parrish and the Braves wildly underperforming offense.

What does it matter what Derek Lowe did? We didn’t score any runs.

He had no room for error. One run and the game is over.

Drunk driver and philanderer though he may be, Derek Lowe is a guy I will give the ball to in October.

Ryan

September 6th, 2011
5:32 am

Glad to hear JJ’s soldier is ok… I wonder how his shoulder is?

[...] DOB, over at the AJC put up a post on the status of Hanson and Jurrjens. [...]

Jack J.

September 6th, 2011
9:58 am

You know that custormery things work out O.K. Close only counts in horse shoe,s!
Luck is when a truck pass you by after you are safely across the road!
common sense lets you know that! standing in road to see is called just plane suicide plan and simple. (period)

Damon Dingle Barryhill

September 6th, 2011
10:01 am

Wow Wisconsin – sad to say you’re pretty much right on all counts. The Braves feel that the wild card is sewn up, and there’s no way to catch Philly anyway. This is why Chipper is sitting.

It’s frustrating, sure. Watching D Lowe get shelled gets old. 3 good outings, then he’s back to spotting the other team 5 runs. No excuses – he’s 9-13. The Phillies ARE better. Their pitching is superior, and their team can actually muster more than three hits per game. It’s frustrating, but come on man – anything can happen in the playoffs!

bravos fan

September 6th, 2011
10:14 am

Looks like BravesfaninWis needs to get a life. have a little pride

nashvillewill

September 6th, 2011
12:52 pm

Re: Rowsdower @11:36p.m. I agree about Lowe; he had a few decent starts but has been inconsistent all year. Braves cannot rely on him. Hudson and Beachy are most reliable, and, I think, Minor is third in postseason rotation. But will FG or whoever makes this call agree? I doubt it. We’ll see Lowe and a likely loss in a must-win game. I don’t think we’ll have Hanson or JJ back. Comparing their pre- and post- allstar stats is unbelievable. But I have maintained all along that they were injury-prone (JJ) or so flawed mechanically (Tommy) that an injury was likely. If we need a fourth starter in postseason, I think it will be Delgado or Teheran. That gives us three rookie starters in postseason, Not a very likely success story, but the future is bright! I suggested in midseason that giving the rookies more starts would give them valuable experience for the postseason and/or build for the future. Did not happen and may end up costing.
Also, for postseason, middle relief is an issue. Especially since no starter except Hudson lasts past inning 6. I hope Moylan is ok as middle relief guy and maybe Sherrill. NOT Linebrink, the V rookies, or Martinez. Put Lowe in there – he usually is ok one time through the order. Make him and Moylan the middle guys.
Most likely not going to happen. But what do you think?

Mike

September 6th, 2011
1:06 pm

Derek Blowe…LOL!!

wolf

September 6th, 2011
1:57 pm

VERY, VERY doubtful that either Jurrjens or Hanson will be useful in post-season play. You just can’t run either of them out there without adequate preparation. Where do they get rehab starts, with the minor league seasons edning, in some instructional league with inferior competition? The nedical staff SHOULD have diagnosed Hanson’s problem MUCH earlier so that perhaps a better rehab program could have been developed. In post-season, I would go with Hudson in game one. IF Lowe shows anything much in September, then MAYBE use him in game two, but I doubt that he will be effective against the good hitters that he’ll face in the playoffs. Probably, I’d prefer Beachy in game two, because he seems immune to pressure. If Lowe continues to basically stink in September, go with Hudson, Beacy, and Minor in the playoffs. The only other option would be if Teheran does really well when he is used this month. Too bad. A rotation of Hudson, Jurrjens, and Hanson in post-season WOULD have been imposing.

MetFan

September 6th, 2011
2:20 pm

Damn…all you defeatist Braves fans sound like a bunch of ….well…..Mets fans. =P

I agree with SporsRadioPD: “The Phills are a better team but, the history of The World Series is littered w/teams that “should have” won.”

old scout

September 6th, 2011
2:39 pm

Both of these guys have some serious shortcomings as pitchers, if you ask me (and no one did). Jurrgens has such marginal stuff for a major league pitcher that even when he wins, it looks like smoke and mirrors. He had no fastball last year, and doesn’t have one this year. He can still probably go 5-6 innings against weak teams. Hanson has lost about 2 feet off his fastball and it has little movement. This started in 2nd half of last year. In both cases. their “injuries” are described as normal wear and tear; this means there is no reason they can’t go out and pitch (if they wanted to, but I guess they don’t). With good talent on the way, these would be two good guys to use for trades in off-season, but it may be that too many scouts have already reached same conclusion I have that their best days are behind.

Heyward grounds out to second

September 6th, 2011
6:00 pm

WE could get destroyed in the playoffs if we continue playing like this. BUT THERE IS TIME to turn it around. And we can do it, and I hope we do it. If Hanson comes back healthy, (and can pitch effectively) then he needs to be the third starter in the playoffs behind Hudson and Beachy.

We have those three at full capacity, and maybe D Lowe as the fourth guy (for get JJ, he’s done, IMO), then maybe, just maybe we have hope.

Need to get the offense back going. Seems like Chipper and Uggla are the only ones who are consistent right now. Constanza looks like he’s getting hot again and Bourn is always a threat. Need to rest Freeman until he’s healthy and hope McCann starts swinging the bat again if we want a shot at anything.

Mitch McConnell's Chins

September 6th, 2011
8:37 pm

If we don’t have Hanson or JJ it’s going to be up to the kids. Minor is good and he looks ready now. Beachy, of course, is in the rotation, along with Hudson. Lowe is on a short leash. You can start him, but even five innings might be too many. Have Julio or Delgado ready to come in as early as the 3rd or 4th inning if Lowe is having one of his bad outings, which he has half the time. So without JJ or Hanson, the playoff rotation is Hudson, Beachy, Minor and short-leash Lowe. With a little offense and the best bullpen trio in franchise history, we actually have a chance to go all the way. Sure would be nice if either Hanson or JJ could be in the rotation, though, so Lowe could be in the bullpen.

daniel-buck

September 7th, 2011
8:39 pm

OK guys I am going with Mike Piazza as the Trivia question for those who are not selling out an watching ESPN.. And yes the no-hitter just went bye-bye!!!!

[...] brace and continue his rehab and try to get back on the mound,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “I don’t know when that would be, as far as the [...]

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