Hanson set for rehab start Sunday at Gwinnett

NEW YORK – Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson will make a rehabilitation start Sunday at Triple-A Gwinnett, and soon afterward a decision about the Atlanta starting rotation must be made by team officials.

Gonzalez said it’s undecided whether the Braves will switch to a six-man rotation when Hanson returns, a possibility he recently said would be considered for all or part of a stretch of 20 games in 20 days that began on Friday.

Hanson, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained back, wasn’t pleased by the decision to have him make a rehab start. The right-hander said he felt good in a bullpen session Friday – his first time on the mound since his July 30 start against Miami — and he hoped to return to the rotation without a rehab start.

He’s eligible to return from the DL on Wednesday, but the Sunday start at Gwinnett means Hanson won’t be activated before Friday.

Gonzalez said Hanson uttered an obscenity at him and pitching coach Roger McDowell after they told him the plan.

“Which is good,” said Gonzalez, who laughed upon mentioning the incident to reporters. “He wants to get back in there. That’s why he was grumpy.”

After meeting with Gonzalez and McDowell, Hanson told reporters, “I’m not in a good mood,” then changed from his workout gear and left the clubhouse to go catch a flight back for the Monday game at Gwinnett.

Gonzalez said the Braves decided to take a more cautious course with Hanson, in part because of setbacks he had late last season when his shoulder was hurt and he tried to return from the DL without a rehab stint.

Gonzalez also said the logistics of a temporary move to a six-man rotation might dissuade the Braves from going with that unusual arrangement.

“We’ll wait to see a lot of things,” he said. “It’s not as easy as people think, because you’ve got to either go a position player short or a bullpen guy short. And as soon as you do that, it never fails – it’s like playing without a [backup] shortstop for one game. Three innings later, [Jack] Wilson dislocates his pinkie.”

Kris Medlen seems the likely odd man out if the Braves stick with a five-man rotation, despite Medlen’s impressive performance in his first two starts since moving to the rotation. He was 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in two starts before making his third on Saturday night against the Mets.

Unlike the others in the rotation, Medlen is experienced as a reliever. Also, he has shown both the ability to perform in either role and a willingness to switch roles at midseason without objection.

40 comments Add your comment

orange brave f/k/a billy jacks bbq

August 11th, 2012
6:04 pm

first, from Wrigley in Chi town.

Bub Saget

August 11th, 2012
6:10 pm

This is the ugly side of Hanson that’s been very obviously brewing underneath for a long time. I can’t wait to see this guy out of here, hopefully someplace close where we can crush that 88 MPH dart-throw of his over and over.


August 11th, 2012
6:10 pm

I’d rather see Hanson go to the pen. He’s been very up down this year, he looks like he’s been hanging out in the Red Sox clubhouse

P'cola Brave

August 11th, 2012
6:14 pm

Hanson is acting like a diva. He still hasnt stepped up and led this rotation. Teams still on him at will. The guy really has a lot of work to do if hes going to become an elite SP.


August 11th, 2012
6:20 pm

Chipper whined about having to make a rehab start. I guess we should just get rid of that “diva” too. Atlanta sports fans baffle me sometimes…


August 11th, 2012
6:30 pm

Hanson’s got a pretty high opinion of himself considering his performance so far. He and JJ can talk about the food at Gwinnett while they share a crying towel.


August 11th, 2012
6:36 pm

Hey DOB-

Any idea what’s happened to Hanson’s velocity since he came up? Has anyone addressed this within the organization? I find it troubling he went from throwing 95 to around 87-89 recently. That’s a significant drop.



August 11th, 2012
6:36 pm

This stuff would have never happened with Bobby Cox as manager and if it did, those guys wouldn’t be around very long.. See Yunel Escobar. Hanson hasn’t exactly been great, he needs to shut his mouth go down make the rehab start and come back do what he’s paid to do and that’s win games.

The A Bomb

August 11th, 2012
6:40 pm

Hanson needs to shut up. What has he EVER done to warrant having a say in ANYTHING? Last guy any Braves fan would want to pitch in a meaningful game.


August 11th, 2012
6:49 pm

Hanson should realize that he has been a liability this season – particularly in his last couple of starts. A spot on a major league pitching staff isn’t guaranteed, you have to earn it and he hasn’t exactly been earning it this year. One rehab start in AAA to prove that he can still pitch without walking 7 guys is fair. My guess is that he’s really pissed off because he is being asked to prove that he belongs and maybe deep down he’s questioning whether he does really belong.

I hope this is a humbling experience for Hanson and he uses it as motivation, but my guess is that Hanson will be moved in the off season.

Bub Saget

August 11th, 2012
6:52 pm

Interesting to contrast Hanson’s reaction to Medlen, who has been up longer, jerked around constantly, performed better, and still says all the right things. I know Kris is a competitor and can’t be thrilled with the way things have gone, but he’s been ridiculously flexible. If they bump him back to the BP so this crybaby can come lob his slow fastballs again, that’ll be a real shame.


August 11th, 2012
6:56 pm

Cosign Bub, Medlen is all class.

D in ATL

August 11th, 2012
7:01 pm

D***! A guy wants to compete and is angry because he has to wait! What do Atlanta fans want? Guys with attitude and “swag” who want to mix it up or choir boys? We complained about the choir boys and now Hanson mouthed an expletive and he needs to leave town? He’s not having a good year but he wants to get back on the mound and I for one have never questioned his toughness or desire (see last year when he probably should have shut it down). Hanson may never be more than an above average pitcher who when healthy can eat up some innings. Let’s not discount the grittiness of competing when a player’s health is much less than 100 percent. Especially when said player competes with a relative degree of success.

Bub Saget

August 11th, 2012
7:10 pm

D in ATL, I don’t care that he said an expletive. I care that he’s acting like one.

Mark (another one)

August 11th, 2012
7:24 pm

Hanson is competitive, and who’s surprised? No story here.

lotta palooza

August 11th, 2012
7:26 pm

Yea…Tommy Hanson uses profanity & Freddy G accepts it as “swag”…GIVE ME A F-ING BREAK. If anyone else (—) had shown that kind of emotion about having to do a rehab stint (outside of C Jones) they would have been accused of having a BAD ATTITUDE. I suppose its also SWAG to show up to the field intoxicated. I’m guessing red hair and flopping around buys a bit more slack at the TED these days.

Merrill Guice

August 11th, 2012
7:26 pm

He’s making it easy on all of us to wave buh-bye when Boras sends him away.

Bub Saget

August 11th, 2012
7:32 pm

Mark (another one), so Medlen isn’t competitive?

Ken Stallings

August 11th, 2012
8:04 pm

Not cool at all for Hanson to act like that. If Hanson doesn’t see that he’s been sub-par this season then he’s very deluded indeed! A rehab start is essential before even a decision should be made. Hanson has to be prepared for another shock to his system — he’s clearly the sixth best starting pitcher on the home team roster!

Here is Medlen, who has quietly and professionally taken every dirty job the Braves gave him this season, went from being a highly promising starter, to the disabled list, to long reliever, watching Hanson and Jurrjens struggle but get chance after chance.

Yet, both Jurrjens and Hanson have both acted in a less than professional manner to being sent to the minors for rehab work.

Frankly, Medlen is acting like the professional and Hanson like the petulant rookie!

Max Sizemore

August 11th, 2012
8:48 pm

Nice analysis, Kris. Bub, you’re right on.


August 11th, 2012
9:02 pm

Medlen has earned the right to stay in the rotation…

[...] to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the 25-year-old is scheduled to make a minor league rehab start on Sunday at Triple-A Gwinnett and [...]


August 11th, 2012
10:25 pm

What happens if Hanson really stinks up this one rehab start? Does he automatically come up and get a start?


August 11th, 2012
10:52 pm



August 11th, 2012
11:03 pm

Got mixed feelings on this and would like to state my two cents worth…

1. The simple fact that Fredi stated in his pre-game comments that Tommy said what he said is a perfect example of the contrast between he and Bobby Cox. First off, don’t think Hanson would have gotten away with that to Bobby and second, if he did it wouldn’t have been made public. It is what it is…

2. I’m gonna give Big Red the benefit of a doubt. By reading his comments in the past, he is a very competitive person and has a bulldog mentality. There is no problem in someone wanting to be good and feeling like they should have a chance. The only problem is that he has not yet taken that same mentality and translated it to the pitchers mound.

3. I know a lot of people on this blog would like to see Tommy traded after the season ends…and that’s always possible. The key to that is whether the Braves are realistically a player in the Zack Grienke free agency sweepstakes. If somehow we got lucky and landed Grienke then Big Red is for the taking…but that’s the only way I can see us doing that. And…we must get a major league ready player in return. I’m guessing we may need 2 new outfielders in 2013. If we cannot get Grienke, then we have keep Hanson and hope that he can be a top line starter.


August 11th, 2012
11:30 pm

“Gonzalez said Hanson uttered an obscenity at him and pitching coach Roger McDowell after they told him the plan”

apparently the kid’s not as grown up as we all thought he was because he’s giving off that spoiled brat vibe


August 11th, 2012
11:42 pm

I don’t know the context of the conversation, but it would seem to me that it’s best to let your pitching do the talking

lee maye

August 11th, 2012
11:42 pm

Big Red’s days are numbered in Atl. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded by Aug 31 or at least put on waivers to see who is interested. In any event, he is gone by Spring Training. Can’t let a Boras client dictate to mangement what he wants to do or curse at management. If they cannot trade Big Red, I would look for him to be released. He is not good enough to have an attitude.


August 11th, 2012
11:48 pm

With Beachy coming back at some point next year and Teheran and Delgado presumably still a big part of the Braves’ plans, Hanson is more of a luxury than a need for the Braves. If Bourn leaves, and I expect him to, then it wouldn’t be surprising if Hanson is the key piece in a deal for Bourn’s replacement.

A lot of this also depends on if Sheets is brought back and whether or not Wren is intent on landing a legit No. 1. But Hanson’s days in Atlanta may indeed be numbered.


August 11th, 2012
11:55 pm

…and as I type, I see that Chad ochocinco was arrested for beating his girlfriend…. gonna be a long football season.


August 12th, 2012
12:06 am

on Medlen:”Also, he has shown both the ability to perform in either role and a willingness to switch roles at midseason without objection.”

Maybe he needs to utter an obscenity at the coaches,(I think I would) all the team does is win his starts and he still can’t be taken seriously for a starting job. What’s a poor boy to do?
Go ahead put Tommy Boy back in there and look like a fool.

I See Clearly Now

August 12th, 2012
8:50 am

Hanson just nervous that Gwinnett’s opponents are gonna steal 5 or 6 bases off him.


August 12th, 2012
9:45 am

I knew in the spring there was a problem with Hanson . . . when on his way to camp, his car “just ran off the road” for no apparent reason . . . other than the driver!


August 12th, 2012
10:50 am

Saw Hanson on that chowder in B-head


August 12th, 2012
11:27 am

I wish Hanson was that “competitive” on the mound. Every time a runner steals a base (often), a fielder makes a mistake (often Hanson himself), or he fails to lay down a sac bunt (consistently) he goes into pout mode. Even if Fredi decides to go to a 6-man rotation, Hanson is not among the six best starting pitcher candidates available.


August 12th, 2012
11:38 am

@ Hal – you have no idea what you are talking about. He averaged about 93 with his fastball in ‘10 and got to 95-96 on many occasions.


August 12th, 2012
12:34 pm

Chipper has earned the right over 19 years to decide for himself whether or not he needs a rehab start or 2. At the beginning of the year he chose not to and only homered in his first game back. The second time coming back from the DL he played some rehab games. Tommy Boy has not earned this right especially after last year. I wish Fredi would have had the spine to put him in his place instead of pretending being cussed at by a subordinate was a good thing. Tommy Boy better be grateful his manager is not Bobby V or Sweet Lou.

Chief pitchanono

August 12th, 2012
1:43 pm

I have no problem with hanson being pissed about the rehab start but i hate it for medlin because he deserves to stay and hanson has not been consistent this year. The pitching staff is on a real good run now and you hate to mess that up. On the other hand i kinda think that huddy could use a little breather so i kinda wonder if now wouldnt be a good time to get him some rest before september and the playoffs.

[...] Tommy Hanson wasn’t happy when the Braves told him the other day to go to Gwinnett for a rehab start, and it’s easy to understand why. As much as the Braves may have legitimate concerns about his back and general health and want to be cautious before activating him off the disabled list, there are two underlying issues here: [...]


August 13th, 2012
11:54 am

Hanson sure ain’t what everybody thought he was gonna be – has he pitched an entire season yet?

You just can’t compare Hanson’s work to Medlin’s this season or his last stint (’10) as a starter, before the injury.

Hanson has been Wally Pipped.

Start Medlin.

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