Tommy Hanson

Tommy’s career may be in danger. Shoulder problems, such as cost him about half the season, are always bad news. Vague, undiagnosed shoulder problems in a pitcher whose mechanics have always been considered suspect? That’s bad news on the “Archduke Franz Ferdinand has been shot” level.

It looked like Hanson was having a breakthrough season. On July 9, he had a 2.44 ERA, was 12-5, and was striking out better than a man an inning, though he was left off of the All-Star team for no good reason. Then he hit a rough patch, with two terrible starts followed by two barely quality starts, then was shut down. Originally he just needed a little rest, and then he needed more, then he was a rehab start away, and soon enough he’d missed the last two months of the season and they still didn’t have a real diagnosis. They still don’t. All they say is that he has pain in his right scapula, his shoulder blade, making him one of two Braves (with Martin Prado) to have something I have. Hopefully his pain isn’t caused by the same thing as mine.

If he’s healthy, and the pain isn’t something major that will reoccur, he’s ready to be an ace. He’s 25 years old, took a big step forward in his strikeout rate last year, and only had one bad start — that borderline — before getting hurt. A healthy Hanson is almost as big of a key as a healthy Tim Hudson for the Braves in 2011.

Tommy Hanson Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

65 thoughts on “Tommy Hanson”

  1. write-ups like this are why i’ve been checking this blog daily for five years.

    great writing mac.

  2. This is your best write-up this year, and the best I can remember. It’s good that you don’t shy away from the facts at hand. Hanson could be great. “If healthy.” He terrifies me.

  3. Great write-up. There’s been talk of a revamped delivery for Hanson but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  4. I can certainly understand why the Braves weren’t willing to “trade from their strength” without getting a superior return, and I agree with this position. I just wish that give that we would have gone ahead and spent some money on an OF FA this offseason, since it doesn’t look like we are going to trade for one.

    On a related note – Marlins reportedly offered Cespedes ~40M/6. That’s a contract that won’t kill you if he fails, and pays off huge if he doesn’t. Wish we were able to do that kind of thing, with so few long term commitments on the team.

  5. As a History prof, I love your reference to Archduke Franz Ferdinand! And what Ringer said at #1! Hope you’re doing well Mac, I think of you often!

  6. I have always taken Tommy Hanson for granted, and would very much like to be able to go back to doing so.

  7. In middle school, I had the good fortune to have one of those one-week middle school “relationships” with a girl whose family was one of the wealthiest in the area. I went over her house the same day Whitney Houston happened to be there, as Whitney was considering buying the place. It was absolutely palatial, gated community, Fort Lauderdale suburbs, probably pretty boring digs for someone with Whitney’s rep.

    When I found out, being 13, I couldn’t shut up about it. We were in her room, where we loudly discussed what we’d say if we met her. It’s 1996 or so, so I offer, “Whitney, what’s with all these slow ballads? You need to kick out the jams, like back in the day! I wanna know if he really lo-oves me!”

    We start laughing, but then we hear some footsteps. I run out of the bedroom and look over the staircase, and there’s Whitney, looking right up at us. Clearly, she heard every word. I remember three things. Her smile was huge, her teeth were blindingly white, and her eyes were like lasers of hate pointed right at me.

    And that’s how, this one time, Whitney Houston scared the shit out of me. RIP.

  8. 16 – Ububba, I’m out in Port Jeff. Working some construction in Manhattan until the summer.

    13 – a tremendous story

  9. you know how some events can be shocking, yet not surprising? Whitney falls into that for me.

    I’m kind of from the sing it the way it was written school. For my money the best anthem involves Kate Smith, a member of the military or a classically trained singer. Probably in that order. Incidentally, what is the US national anthem? seems like there are a few that get sung, but not sure which one is ‘official’.

    btw, I cannot start in on national anthems without mentioning my favorite, the old soviet national anthem sung by the red army choir. Politics aside, that one could make you run (or skate) through a brick wall. best ever.

    Canadian national anthem: Roger Doucette at the forum in montreal.

  10. The Star Spangled Banner is a horrific song. National anthems should be written in simple keys that the vast majority of the citizenry can sing.

    With that said, I hate the idea of a “national anthem” in theory, so very little practice is like to convince me otherwise.

  11. In a lot of ways, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a perfect representation of America, which has always been pretty ad hoc. A poem written about a conflict hardly anyone ever thinks about, set to the tune of an English drinking song, chosen almost at random with no governmental input to represent the country. And whoever said America was supposed to be easy?

  12. Sdp, I did a Yahoo league last year with bloggers from this site and it was great. I’ll keep ya posted.

  13. Great write up Mac

    I am not counting on Hanson or Hudson at all this year. There is too much “Oh, they are going to be fine” talk.

    See Tommy Hanson last season.

  14. The more I watch Anthony Grant, the more impressed I become.

    Anyone know the inside story on the Bama Basketball suspensions?

  15. #33 – As for Tony Mitchell, I really havent heard anything. As for Releford, Steele, and Green Ive heard it was a curfew/marijuana possession that got them sent home. Grant doesnt share info regarding these suspensions, but I think he’s making it pretty clear to the young guys on this team that he’s not going to tolerate anything moving forward. He’s got to get Green and Mitchell off this team before we will see someone step up as a true leader. Im more disappointed with Releford and Steele than I am those other two guys.

  16. Mitchell’s suspension was apparently for a variety of minor offenses that added up. I think he will probably be reinstated before the Florida game if he keeps his nose clean.

    Green has now been suspended for at least three consecutive years. I don’t get the idea that he’s actually a bad guy, but he’s undisciplined. It shows in his play, too, when he picks up fouls in bunches. He’s an NBA level talent who’s going to spend the next ten years in Spain — if he’s lucky — because he simply doesn’t have enough mental strength to consistently work at it.

    Steele went to my high school, John Carroll Catholic in Birmingham. Let’s just say that twenty years ago, finding pot was not difficult for JC students and recent graduates, and I doubt it’s changed much.

  17. Glad it’s just some relatively minor stuff.

    I really think Bama’s got the coaching and talent to make a Final Four run this year if they get their heads on, er, straight.

    In Tubby’s last years, UK was known to “play in space” a bit and it showed.

  18. Bama doesnt have the offensive strength to make a run this year IMO. They are an 8/9 team in the tourney, which means they may get past the first round but then will face a #1 team. Same thing if they grab a #10/#11 spot and they play a #2/3 in the next round. Once again, Bama has talented athletes, but they lack good basketball players. Some of these freshmen look good, but they need to develop.

  19. I thought Alabama was ready to take the next step this season, but alas. Also:

    “I really think Bama’s got the coaching and talent to make a Final Four run this year if they get their heads on, er, straight.”

    Eh, no. These hombres lost to South Carolina this year. Do not pass Go.

  20. They can’t shoot. They’re putting up one of the worst three-point shooting seasons in SEC history. It’s basically inexplicable, as the freshmen were supposed to be good shooters. I think Grant is going to have to make some changes in his staff this offseason.

  21. I was optimistic in my voting.

    Bama is a very good free throw shooting team and they are good at running the court when they can get out on fast breaks. However, if a team can slow them down and force them into a half court offense then Bama cant score. Lacey was suppose to be that one and done type player. It came down to Bama and UK in recruiting for this kid, but I guarantee you he wouldnt touch the floor for UK right now.

    There’s just no consistency with these guys. Green can have a 20/10 type game and then foul out before halftime of the next game. Same thing with Mitchell. Releford has games where he can take over and score 20, but then against SC he scores 2. These are suppose to be their team leaders and now all 3 have been suspended due to team rule violations.

  22. Vegas odds to win the series:

    PHI 6:1
    LAA 13:2
    NYY 13:2
    DET 8:1
    TEX 9:1
    BOS 12:1
    MIA 15:1
    SF 16:1
    STL 18:1
    TB 20:1
    ATL 22:1
    ARI 25:1
    CIN 25:1
    WAS 28:1
    MIL 30:1
    CHC 35:1
    COL 35:1
    LAD 35:1
    TOR 40:1
    CHW 50:1
    CLE 60:1
    MIN 60:1
    KC 75:1
    NYM 75:1
    OAK 75:1
    PIT 75:1
    SEA 75:1
    SD 90:1
    BAL 100:1
    HOU 100:1

    Braves and Rays seem like decent value along with maybe TOR. If only KC had a little pitching they’d look good too.

  23. Amazing what happened to all the big name pitchers, Lowe/Burnett/Perez, from 08-09 offseason. About 6 or 7 teams were interested in Kawakami from that offseason also.

  24. With Cespedes, the As have a ton of outfielders on the roster and in the minors – perhaps they would want to swap Seth Smith for a middling pitching prospect?

  25. Somewhat surprised Miami is that much higher than Atl.

    Vegas doesn’t list odds on how likely a team is to win the WS. Vegas lists odds in order to draw in the most amount of bets. The Marlins have been active with famous free agents this winter, which means they public perception of their chances are higher than their actual chances, which means Vegas will list them high to pull in the sucker bets.

  26. I don’t think it’s a guarantee that Cespedes starts off in the big leagues. Seth Smith and Gomes will probably platoon in LF, Reddick will probably start in RF, and Crisp in CF. With no apparent lock at DH, the surplus lessens.

    I’m guessing that Beane is really building for 2013 and on, when Choice will probably be the starting CF, Cespedes the RF, Reddick the LF. If both Cespedes and Choice pan out, with Jarrod Parker and the pitching prospects picked up in the Nationals trade, the A’s could be a really strong, young team for half a decade.

    Chris Carter needs to step up for them and Billy needs to give him a full year of ABs.

  27. I hope they do get strong. I live with an A’s fan, insofar as anyone is, and I’ve come to like them.

  28. I root for the A’s largely because so many in the MSM so openly take pleasure in Beane’s failures.

  29. It looks like Grant is going to reinstate Releford and Steele but leave Mitchell and Green suspended. Green, presumably, gets the tougher punishment because he’s been suspended twice before.

  30. Anthony hasn’t (or won’t) learn(ed) the Urban Meyer “sound holier-than-thou while letting miscreants play” rap.

    He could beat Florida with Green and Mitchell but without Releford and Steele but not the other way around.

    Hats off. Hope good things redound. Soon.

  31. Bama will be better off moving forward without those two guys. They are suppose to be the team leaders and it just seems they bring more negative than positive to the program right now.

    #55 – I disagree. Releford is the biggest piece for this team. Id take my chances with Releford/Steele over Green/Mitchell.

  32. I agree with Sam on the Vegas bets. Miami will draw a lot of bets simply based on their activity this offseason.

    I’d love to fully understand how Vegas sets their lines and odds, but my head would probably explode.

  33. I understand the logic behind it of course, the goal of the line is to generate relatively even money on either side to mitigate risk, and you make your money on the vig. The algorithm that sets the opening line must be pretty good. Of course, the lines move for the reason given above, but there’s a lot riding on getting the opening line pretty close.

  34. To go a little further, Vegas has reduced they payout you’d normally expect to see for the Marlins, because their new talent has increased the number of bettors wanting their action. Reducing the odds mitigates the casinos risk in case it actually happens, but also the amount of action. Deciding exactly where to set the opening odds is an interesting problem.

    //Oh, and Founders Breakfast Stout is another superb product from a terrific brewery.

  35. There’s a tremendous amount of research that goes into setting the lines, obviously, but the final determination contains a bit of alchemy as well, as I understand it. The research pegs the range of possible opening lines to within a couple of points, and then it’s just a few guys in a room deciding what feels right. After that, it’s pure market forces.

  36. I do not like this story that is coming out about Hanson changing his delivery. Might completely screw him up.

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