Tommy Hanson did not throw a bullpen as planned on Monday because he is still experiencing some lingering soreness in his scapula, behind his troublesome pitching shoulder.
So the Braves will ditch any plans to pitch Hanson in the final regular season game on Wednesday if they have managed to clinch a wildcard spot by then. And at this point, Hanson is doubtful to pitch in a potential Division Series game for the Braves.
Jair Jurrjens, on the other hand, still has a chance. He is scheduled to make a second start in the Instructional League in Florida on Thursday, going 70 pitches or four or five innings. If all goes well, the Braves might consider him for a potential Game 3 or 4 start on Tuesday or Wednesday, if they make the Division Series.
“He feels pretty good,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Jurrjens threw 44 pitches in an Instructional League game on Saturday and came away encouraged about his right knee. It was the first time he’d pitched in a game of any kind since Aug. 30 against Washington. He’s been out since with a bone bruise in his surgically-repaired right knee.
Tim Hudson is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday against the Phillies. If the Braves have clinched by then, Gonzalez said they’d cover that game with relievers.
Hanson hasn’t pitched in a game since Aug. 6 but had begun to build up his arm strength again. He was pulled after two innings of a planned three-inning start in the Instructional League on Friday. He came down with the flu over the weekend and then had the soreness in the back of his shoulder pop up again Monday.
The Braves think it could be just typical soreness like pitchers feel in spring training. So Hanson will stay in Florida and try to work his way back with the idea that he might be used in later rounds in the playoffs, if the Braves advance.
“It very well could be typical spring training soreness where you’re getting geared back up and you’re using muscles you haven’t used in a while,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “So we’re just letting it clear itself back up we progress him.”
Hanson has been out with shoulder soreness from a small sub-surface tear in his rotator cuff, which the Braves have been assured won’t require surgery.