Hanson has good outing in Triple-A rehab start

NEW YORK – Tommy Hanson pitched five scoreless innings in a rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Gwinnett, allowing three hits and two walks with five strikeouts while throwing 48 strikes in 78 pitches. He’s been on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain and had an 80-pitch limit in what was his only scheduled rehab start.

Now, the Braves face a decision. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he, pitching coach Roger McDowell and team officials will discuss whether to go with a five- or six-man rotation, but reiterated that if it’s the latter, it’ll only be six starters for the remainder of their current 19-games-in-19-days period (Sunday’s game was the third in that stretch).

The Braves have a current five-man rotation of Ben Sheets, Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm, Mike Minor and Medlen, who got the win Saturday to go to 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA in three starts since moving from the bullpen.

“If all goes well in the next three or four days, we’ve got to sit down and make a decision,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve got to see what’s best for the team and what’s best for the individuals. Do we go with a six-man [rotation] because it’s 19 straight games? Do we go with a five-man and stick one guy in the bullpen? Who knows? There’s a lot of talks and a lot of discussions in the next few days to see how we’re going to work with this situation.

“It’s easy to say, let’s go with a six-man, it makes a lot of sense with 19 straight games and the guys that are pitching for us that need an extra day every once in a while, with Huddy’s ankle and so on, the guy pitching today [Sheets] and the history he’s had in the last couple of years. So everybody can use those [extra] days. But it’s easier said than done.

“Take one less guy out of your bullpen or take one less guy out of your bench? Who’s got [minor league] options, who doesn’t have options….”

One of the factors they’ll consider is Medlen’s value to the bullpen and to the rotation. He’s the only one of the starters with bullpen experience. But that’s not the only consideration, Gonzalez said.

“You’ve got to also put into the debate who’s pitching well and who isn’t,” he said. “We’ve got to take that into account. These five guys we’re running out there are throwing pretty good. Do we disturb that or not?”

25 comments Add your comment


August 12th, 2012
8:17 pm

Great probolem to me


August 12th, 2012
8:20 pm

Very telling last quote

Negative Creep

August 12th, 2012
8:44 pm

6 man for sure.


August 12th, 2012
8:51 pm

Go with the 6 man rotation for this stretch then make an evaluation afterwards regarding the best makeup of the staff until the last game. Ultimately we want to go with those that will put the team in the best position to make the playoffs.

Max Sizemore

August 12th, 2012
9:11 pm

A 6-man rotation sounds nice, feels good, makes sense and all that . . . until you’ve managed a 25-man roster with, uh, only FOUR position players on the bench (works in the AL, not in the NL where you need five) or SIX relief pitchers (which is really not enough). If they carried 5 on the bench and 6 in the bullpen, you folks would be critical of Fredi with the double switches he would have to make. Folks, it would be VERY difficult to make this work. Now, when the rosters expand Sept. 1, it becomes doable.


August 12th, 2012
9:26 pm

There is still time left, but if they end up losing this game, it would figure. I mean the Nats already lost their game so why should the Braves win and get closer to the division crown? Sounds like a no brainer to me, but for this team, it just can’t be done. I guess we should just be thankful that recently the Braves have won when the Nats have, otherwise they would be in trouble.


August 12th, 2012
9:29 pm

Come on Sheets, stop with the Hanson and jurrjens re- enactment with giving up 2 out runs. Just because their is a opposing player standing on 2nd base doesn’t mean they have to score. It’s not in the rule book at all, so you can stop anytime you like.

Sly Boarders

August 12th, 2012
9:38 pm

I still hate Mike Hampton.

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


August 12th, 2012
9:49 pm

The sooner we unload him, the better. With his “delivery”, he is destined to constantly be hurt.


August 12th, 2012
9:56 pm

If I were manager here would be my plan. Bring Hanson back to see how he does and put Sheets on the 10 day D.L. to rest and strengthen his arm. Then bring Sheets back and put Hudson on the 10 day D.L. to rest up and strengthen his ankle. Keep Medlen. Maholm & Minor in the rotation. When all of these D.L. stints are over the Braves will know which 5 they want to go with the rest of the season and into the playoffs.

space monkey

August 12th, 2012
9:57 pm

Leave Hanson down in AAA. He’s real good, down there. I guess those guys get fooled by his absurd delivery and his 87 mph heat.


August 12th, 2012
10:29 pm

That is good news since the Sheets experiment is over. The Braves should be banned from watching or hearing about other games before they play. They do not have what it takes to be a winner. Same old stuff…year after year.

Who Me?

August 12th, 2012
10:41 pm

I agree with some of what Ed is saying but I think the TV announcers pegged it early in the game. Sheets has a little dead arm going, which is not hard to believe given the use he’s getting and having been out of the game for 2 years. I’m no pitching coach or manager, but IF the intent is to give the starters a little breathing room during the next 3 weeks, a 6-man rotation will do nothing but help both Sheets and Hanson. Not sure about the effect it might have on Medlen – good or bad, but if management needs more looks at Sheets to determine whether the experiment has run its course, I don’t think he’s a 5-day rotation starter right now.


August 13th, 2012
2:19 am

When does Simmons start rehab?

Let's Go

August 13th, 2012
7:50 am

VinceVanGo @ 9:56
There is no 10 day DL, 15 days min which means you lose a pitcher for about 3 starts. A 6 man rotation sounds good but the problems you run into are short a arm in the bullpen or short a bat on the bench and if you go short in the pen all it takes is a couple games where your starters don’t go 5 or an extra inning game and the bullpen is toast. As far as the Braves go right now the only bench player they can send down would be Francisco and I’m not sure they would even do that until Simmons come back and Pasternicky is sent down.


August 13th, 2012
9:43 am

OK, I have a question about the 6 man rotation. Would it be possible to have the starter scheduled for a between session side session to be the “designated long reliever” for the night he is scheduled for the side session? He he has to be used, then you skip his next start.

Would that work?

Keith McGuire

August 13th, 2012
10:24 am

With no dominate starter the Braves need to go to a 6 man rotation. The extra day for all of the pitchers will help all of them stay fresh.They are getting in unchartered waers with Minor,Sheets, Huddy ankle,Hanson’s back,Medlen needs to get stretched out and is doing great, so why take him out? Maholm is really a great trade on Wren’s part as well as Johnson.Actually Johnson should have started last night against the mets and rest Heyward.I have coached for over 20 years and know a little something.6 man for the Braves would be the best thing for the whole staff and that would be for the rest of the season.Keep them fresh and see who is pitching the best come playoff time. If we had a Cole Hamels it might be different, but we don’t.

Nevada Roy

August 13th, 2012
10:46 am

Put Huddy on the 15-day “vacation” so he is well rested for September which is shapping up to be the critical month.


August 13th, 2012
11:10 am

What about JJ? Haven’t heard much about him in a while.


August 13th, 2012
1:27 pm

I like Hanson, but fact is, wherever he is, they’ll steal him blind until he changes that delayed delivery motion–catchers don’t have a chance

I like Hanson, but fact is, wherever he pitches, they’ll steal him blind every time they get on base. That hesitation delivery doesn’t give a catcher a chance to throw anybody out.



August 13th, 2012
3:36 pm

It’s a no brainer. 6 man rotation and get into the play-offs!!!

Denny Lemaster

August 13th, 2012
4:52 pm

Space Monkey: I agree with Hanson’s delivery. They said he changed it. I don’t see any change. I would love to see a side by side of his delivery last year and this so called new one. He is one pitch away from a year lost to major surgery. Either his shoulder or elbow is gonna blow.

Denny Lemaster

August 13th, 2012
4:53 pm

B. Buzz: JJ is on the DL, again.

ragnar danneskjold

August 13th, 2012
4:58 pm

No matter how Fredi and Roger handle this one, they will get widespread condemnation. The best pitcher right now, excluding the one named Medlen, has been the worst most of the year – Minor. Maholm and Sheets look like winners, but their Braves records do not support that hope. Hudson has been the king for a long time, but is looking tired. And Hanson ran out of gas last year too.

If they go with the six man, since there is no obvious cut among the starters, they will wind up without a long-man in the pen. The best they can do is muddle through until the September roster expansion.

Add your comment