Vivlamore reporting from Disney. DOB resumes coverage tomorrow. Here is an early blog to get the day started. Split squad games today home against the Mets and on road against the Yankees.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Tommy Hanson just wants to put the “slower start” to spring training behind him.
The Braves right-hander will make his spring training debut Sunday against the Blue Jays. He is fully recovered from the Grade 1 concussion suffered in a one-car accident on Feb. 20 that delayed his exhibition season.
That is not the only health issue facing Hanson as he goes into a new season. He went 10-5 with a 2.44 earned run average before the All-Star break last year. However, shoulder pain that began in late May worsened. He made only five starts in the second half (1-3, 8.10) before shutting it down in August.
“I’m just excited,” Hanson said Friday morning. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in a game after missing two months last year. Obviously this year, I got off to a little bit slower start. I’m excited to get out there.”
Hanson estimates he is only a few days behind despite the missed time. He completed a final batting practice session Thursday and said “everything felt really good.”
As Hanson works on finding his command and location – the rites of spring for a pitcher – his start offers a chance to debut a new hitch-free delivery against live opposing hitters.
“I’m anxious to face hitters,” Hanson said. “It’s not the new delivery. I’ve been doing it for a while. It doesn’t feel new any more. I wouldn’t say I’m anxious to try out the new delivery. I’m anxious to got out there and pitch again.”
Here is the lineup for the home split squad game against the Mets:
1. Andrelton Simmons SS
2. Martin Prado DH
3. Brian McCann C
4. Dan Uggla 2B
5. Chipper Jones 3B
6. Eric Hinske 1B
7. Jason Heyward RF
8. Stefan Gartrell LF
9. Todd Cunningham CF
Randall Delgado P
Chipper was originally scheduled to DH but talked manager Fredi Gonzalez into playing third because he wanted the infield time. I will have a story on that a little later.
Here is the Braves lineup vs. Yankees
1. Michael Bourn CF
2. Tyler Pastornicky SS
3. Matt Diaz RF
4. Freddie Freeman 1B
5. David Ross C
6. Christian Bethancourt DH
7. Drew Sutton 2B
8. Brandon Hicks 3B
9. Jose Constanza LF
P Julio Teheran