VIERA, Fla. – Tommy Hanson says he will be ready for the start of the season – no reason for concern there.
The right-hander made is third exhibition appearance, and second start, Wednesday after missing the end of last season with a small rotator cuff tear and the start of spring training with a concussion after a February car accident.
Hanson pitched four innings, allowing just one hit and one unearned run against the Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. He did not get a decision as he walked one and hit two batters. He struck out two, throwing 68 pitches (39 strikes).
“I think I will be ready as soon as the season starts,” Hanson said of starting against either the Mets or Astros, the Braves’ opening two series. “Whatever game [manager] Fredi [Gonzalez] wants to put me in.”
Hanson said the only issues he had Wednesday – while working on his new hitch-free delivery – were with his leg-kick with a runner on second and the release point on his curveball. He hit the two batters on curves.
“I’m figuring out what I need to work on,” Hanson said. “Each time there are one or two things that pop up that I need to work on. I don’t feel overwhelmed.”
Hanson was perfect through the first two innings, getting five fly balls. He needed only 21 pitches.
Catcher Brian McCann said Hanson’s slider was “great” and complimented his change-up and fastball location. The curveball will come, he said. Hanson called it an “easy fix.”
Add McCann to the list of those who believe there will be no issues for Hanson once the regular season arrives.
“Just talking to him, he feels good going into his last couple of starts,” McCann said. “I think he has two or three more before we get out of here and just by talking to him and his voice I think he is coming along really well.”
Gonzalez said he has yet to determine his exact starting rotation, but hoped to have it set in the next week.