Hanson faces hitters; Freeman nears return

LAKELAND, Fla. – While their top pitching prospects got pounded at Lakeland on Sunday, one of the Braves’ best starting pitchers took another step toward returning.

Tommy Hanson threw five minutes of batting practice at the Braves’ training site in Lake Buena Vista, the first time he faced hitters since a Feb. 20 one-car accident left Hanson with a Grade 1 concussion.

Braves officials said Hanson looked and felt good during the session. He’ll do the same thing Tuesday, then increase his workload if all goes as planned.

He could make his first start in another week, during the second time through the rotation. That could be pushed back if he’s not ready that soon, but Hanson isn’t far behind despite missing the first week of spring training.

Because he had worked so much on his delivery in January and early February, eliminating the former hitch in his throwing motion, Hanson estimated he’d already thrown seven bullpens before spring training began.

Kris Medlen is scheduled to start Tuesday against Washington in the Braves’ fourth Grapefruit League game. If Hanson is ready five days later, he would move into that spot in the rotation.

Freeman update

Freddie Freeman could be in the Braves lineup on Tuesday, one week after he partially dislocated his right knee.

The first baseman took batting practice Saturday and was to hit and field grounders Sunday while the Braves were at Lakeland. He had hoped to play Monday against Houston, but manager Fredi Gonzalez said Tuesday was the tentative target date.

Freeman had a subluxation of the patella (kneecap) in his right knee, the same injury he had two years ago in Triple-A. Because it was a repeat injury in a relatively short period, he’ll wear a knee brace now and he said probably for the rest of his career.

Gonzalez joked that if he saw Freeman practicing or playing without the brace, he’d kick him in the shin.

Parraz off to good start

After getting the Braves’ only hit in Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener, journeyman outfielder Jordan Parraz got their first RBI of the spring on Sunday. He had a two-out single in eighth inning of an 18-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers, after the Braves scored a run earlier in the inning when shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons grounded sharply into a double play.

Parraz, 27, signed as a minor-league free agent this winter after hitting .289 with a .362 on-base percentage, six triples and nine home runs in 126 games last season for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.

“He’s interesting,” Gonzalez said of Parraz, who also made an impressive catch near the right-field foul line Saturday. “He can do some things. He runs well, and you should see him throw.”

Parraz has never had a major league callup despite a .289 average and .373 OBP in eight minor league seasons with the Astros, Royals and Yankees organizations. He’s never hit more than 14 homers, and totaled 55 doubles and 20 homers the past two seasons in Triple-A.

He signed with the Braves hoping there might be an opening at some point.

“I always try to hope there’s an opportunity and I go after it like there is an opportunity,” Parraz said. “You’ve got to play hard, and try to turn some guys’ heads. But just try to learn, try to get better, and eventually maybe there’s an opportunity. If not you’ve just got to try to get better and be ready when you get a chance.”

Etc.

The Tigers have beaten the Braves twice in two days, and had as many homers each day as the Braves had hits (one Saturday, nine Sunday)…. Rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and an error Sunday…. Third-base prospect Joe Terdoslavich came off the bench to go 2-for-2…. Lakeland is a short (40-minute) bus ride, but for Sunday’s game the Braves brought just two projected lineup regulars, Pastornicky and left fielder Martin Prado, who went 2-for-3. Fourth outfielder Matt Diaz served as DH…. The Braves travel to Kissimmee to face the Astros  Monday and will start Jair Jurrjens against RH Jordan Lyles. Planned Braves relievers include Cory Gearrin, Todd Redmond, Erik Cordier and lefty Luis Avilan.

26 comments Add your comment

B-F_52

March 4th, 2012
7:32 pm

hairybuckeye

March 4th, 2012
7:55 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

BRAVESFAN

March 4th, 2012
8:23 pm

What number is Terdo wearing? Can’t wait to see him playing at third.

Frank Wren

March 4th, 2012
10:30 pm

yeah, I’ll probably cut Parraz next week.

Who knew

March 4th, 2012
10:32 pm

that Jason Aldean’s bat would prove to be the sole bright spot for our 2012 Spring Training?

eskippy

March 5th, 2012
12:11 am

MWC

March 5th, 2012
8:02 am

Great job as usual DOB….

MikeY

March 5th, 2012
8:26 am

Parraz has played all 3 OF positions in the minors (albeit his last appearance in CF was 2008, and he is very big for a CF, really projects as more of a corner OF). I am hopeful but do not really think he is the answer to our need for another RH bat. And Diaz, I am afraid, is not the answer either. Looking at the waiver wire and other hot stove action, Diaz is very lucky to have a guaranteed contract. If he were a free agent, he would likely only rate a minor league deal, with an invitation to ST.

Larry

March 5th, 2012
8:44 am

When Matt Diaz is getting a guaranteed contract and in the starting lineup, this alone should tell you the Braves are circling the drain with Wren and Fruiti.

Larry

March 5th, 2012
9:00 am

“Hanson faces hitters”

As apposed to “Hanson faces batters”

I think this title is spot on, Dave! LOL!

Lobosolo

March 5th, 2012
9:05 am

Larry, you’ve been circling the drain for awhile now… head on out to the treatment plant while there’s still time….

Larry

March 5th, 2012
9:28 am

Lobosolo,

You, and everyone who thinks and writes as you do, look more and more ignorant and foolish every day. Ever heard of self incrimination?

Keep convicting yourself by writing… LOL!

20 out

March 5th, 2012
9:47 am

This Rev experiment is going to get ugly. Poor kid.

[...] Source: ajc.com [...]

Marvin Mangrum

March 5th, 2012
10:01 am

DOB, is Constanza up for spring training or did he fall from earth? Is Heyward doing better? I get the feeling he is not. Why does it take the hitters so much longer to get ready for the season than it does a thrower? Is it simpler, in a weird way, to pitch? Does the SS look like he may be able to hit any? Thanks Buddy. Watch out for the sunburn!

Bill

March 5th, 2012
10:16 am

agree with you Larry above on Diaz. What a waste. Parraz could take Constanza’s place..?
I thought the pitchers had been throwing for last month are so. Don’t look like it.

Larry is dumb

March 5th, 2012
10:17 am

The season hasn’t even started yet. If you’re already this negative during ST, then you’re either a pessimistic douchebag or not a braves fan. You need to tighten up.

Bill

March 5th, 2012
10:26 am

What a stupid statement @ 10:17~~~must you agree on everything to be a Braves fan? Bet u voted for the Pres too~~he can do no wrong.

Larry

March 5th, 2012
11:07 am

Bill,

These goobers depend on him for their monthly entitlements…and he supplies them in return for a vote.

It’s the old pimp and prostitute relationship that’s destroyed great nations for thousands of years and it is weakening us by the moment. But do they care as long as they get their checks? Nada!

Paul

March 5th, 2012
11:17 am

Larry, it’s already perfectly clear that you don’t understand baseball. Why don’t we just leave politics at the door for now, m’kay?

Paul

March 5th, 2012
11:20 am

Baseball is supposed to be fun. If following (let alone casually watching) the Braves play is such a torturous experience for you then just go away. The rest of us are more than happy to do so without trading in hopeless negativism.

Bravesfan54

March 5th, 2012
12:09 pm

I attended Saturday’s 1-hit wonder. It was also notable for a most generous call in the 6th or 7th inning that should have been an error for Pastornicky. Sunday’s game featured very shabby pitching. This is ST, so don’t read anything into these comments. Truly they signify nothing – unless a trend of poor pitching, no hitting, and Pastornicky fielding lapses continue – which is unlikely to happen.

Jim

March 5th, 2012
12:20 pm

Its obvious Paul you are a follower not a leader.

Paul

March 5th, 2012
1:19 pm

It’s a spectator sport, Jim. Give me a break.

David O'Brien

March 5th, 2012
1:32 pm

Boscan with a broken-bat single up middle, 1 out in Braves 2nd. Bourn up again, facing his former Astros for 1st time today

alanfalcon

March 5th, 2012
5:33 pm

Give them time, nothing to get to excited about at this point-GEE”S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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