Welcome Mr. Hanson

I’m not sure how Tom Glavine and John Smoltz passed the time leading up to their Major League debuts, but it’s quite obvious that they weren’t provided the technological luxuries that Tommy Hanson utlized to calm his nerves heading into this afternoon’s game. 

As he played solitaire on his iPod or iPhone, Hanson didn’t seem fazed about the fact that he was about to experience a debut that had been hyped more than the ones that Glavine and Smoltz experienced at the start of their illustrious careers. 

“Those guys weren’t as heralded,” Cox said.  “Noboby really knew John (Smoltz) because we had traded for him and then he came through our system.  Everybody knows Tommy (Hanson) because of Spring Training.” 

Actually before Hanson impressed during his first big league camp this year, he was well known throughout the baseball world.  After his 0.69 ERA allowed him to become the first pitcher named the Arizona Fall League MVP, the big right-hander became as heralded as any of the game’s pitching prospects.    

There’s no doubt that Hanson will battle some of the same nerves that his close friend and roommate Kris Medlen encountered during his May 21 Major League debut.

But at the same time, he’s confident that he won’t experience the same kind of meltdown that led Medlen to throw find the strike zone with just three of his 18 third-inning pitches. 

When asked if he’d provided Hanson any advice, Medlen said, “what do you mean, like how not to (stink) during your debut?”

When Glavine debuted on Aug. 17, 1987, he allowed six earned runs and lasted just 3 2/3 innings against the Astros.   

While introducing himself to the Majors on July 23, 1988, Smoltz limited the Mets to one run over eight innings.

The likes of Chuck James, James Parr and Kyle Davies have provided the reminder that a career path isn’t determined during the debut or first few starts of a pitchers career. 

But it would certainly be nice to see Hanson experience a good start to a career that the fans of Atlanta would like to enjoy for many years to come.   

80 Comments

Well He had a good first inning while only throwing 9 pitches. Hopefully the Braves can back him up today.
Chipper and McCann both have had a triple in the last 24 hours. That is weird.

Hanson just struck out the side. Fielder in 5 pitches, Cameron in 4, and Gamel in 3.

That was downright impressive. That 96 mph fastball is full of life and the batters have no chance when he’s able to spot that curveball. He needed 12 pitches to strike out the side against Fielder, Cameron and Gamel. The kid is legit.

About that Glavine curse being broken, I’m just glad that it wasn’t targeted to last 47 innings.

Mark, Ill give you $30 to tell me what Medlen said in place of “stink”

Best line I’ve heard so far today in the press box — Following Hanson striking out one scribe said, “I think Glavine was a better hitter.”

Southwest of Chicago, in the suburbs.

HOME RUN.

Do it yourself Chipper! He has more RBIs than the team in the last 2 days.

No no much closer to the city, I guess I should have said west, anyways I live in Berwyn, next to Cicero and North Riverside. I guess I was thinking south because Berwyn is a part of “White Sox Territory”, I was thinking about moving to Planfield but then the housing market crash hit and… wells history tells the rest. Why you ask?

The dizzyness was just a sign…he is back!!

Chipper is half way to the cycle!! He’s got the two hardest.

I know its only the 3rd inning but Hanson is the real deal…what do you all think?

Chipper could actually get the cycle. I can see him getting either a double or a single. The odds on here are probably 20:1 though.

You going to the series at Wrigley?

There goes that prefect game lol.

Better to have Hanson give up runs on a Homer than to give up hit after hit after hit. He just made 1 mistake

Only one of the runs was earned.

Have a Day Chipper Jones!!!!
Again, he has more RBIs than the team in the last couple of days!

You can NOT make mistakes to Braun. He will make you pay.

Ugh. The one day we score runs…

Apart from Tommy Hanson, there’s a lot to discuss with regards to the Braves and their farm system. I know that you are the Braves beat reporter and that you don’t normally discuss issues regarding players in the minors but with the First Year player draft coming up on Tuesday and still some significant issues to discuss regarding the offense and what will happen to the Braves pitchers once they come off the disabled list I’d like to hear some chatter:

1) if the Orioles don’t select Georgia hometown pitcher Zach Wheeler, the Braves should jump right on him. I watched video (just search Zach Wheeler on google) and the kid has tremendous arm angle and velocity ala Tim Lincecum. If The Orioles select him with the 5th pick, whom do you see the Braves taking? I would say that being a Scott Boras client is a definite turn off. The guy is going to ruin the reputation these kids will have with some of their ballclubs.
2) What do you think of the dizziness that Chipper Jones experienced yesterday? After hitting for a triple, 2 homeruns, and 5rbi’s today, there’s obviously something going on
3) I am still of the belief if (AND ONLY IF) the Braves believe that they can still contend in this division that they will need another bat. Mark DeRosa could be a great fit, but how much would the Braves be willing to part with after just losing 3 blue chip prospects?
4) maybe its just me but I still feel the Braves gave way too much for McLouth. After reading about Neal Hunington’s reasoning for McLouth it appears that he’s more of a defensive liability than his gold glove would dictate. He’s definitely not a pure center fielder so after Garrett’s contract is off the books (and/or Schafer is ready to contribute at the major league level) we need to move him to left field. agreed? Aside from that, when we got Tim Hudson for 3 blue chip prospects back in 2004, Huddy had already amassed 90+ wins and an incredible career ERA and winning %. Nate McLouth has had 1 superior year and a handful of above average years. Maybe Gorkys, Charlie, and Jeff will never amount to much more than prospects but even if 2 out of the 3 make some contributions at the majors, we had the worse half of this deal. The 1 true plus side is that he is signed through 2011/012 (with option) and he’s making a lot less money than other players with similiar statistics.
5) What do you believe will happen with Jorge Campillo, Buddy Carlyle and Jo-Jo Reyes when they, respectively, come of the DL? Does Jo-Jo have Minor league options left? Do you believe that Campillo and Carlyle will be DFA’d?
6) all the hype can only do bad things for your psyche: Hanson’s a gamer but he just got welcomed to the big leagues the hard way by Ryan Braun and Camboogey.
7) Can Brett DeVall become a legitimate Major League baseball pitcher? What about Cody Johnson? The guy can crush the ball, but he strikes out as much as Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn, and Mark Reynolds.

The Brewers just lost a LOT of respect from me. I understand they want to win the game, and they want to compete, but they are down a run, and they don’t gain a lot from putting Diaz up. Chipper PROBABLY isn’t going to hit that double, but taking away his chance at history? You’ve gotta be effing kidding me. That’s dirty. Seriously. Not acceptable.

They were killing 2 birds with 1 stone…the chance for him to get another RBI and stopping him from trying to hit a double and hit for the cycle…viscious, but understandable

He might have another chance, Gonzo is on the mound.

No bad blood towards the Crew for that decision. I’d have walked Chipper too. Wingatsm, I think the Braves will select Matzek if him and Wheeler are both available. Then Miller then White. Or maybe Grant Green.

To those doubting Jones…. I rest my case. He is the Braves. Period.

Chipper may not have gotten a double for the cycle, but hey who really cares? I’d rather him get a home run than a double any day. He had a helluva game today going 4-4 with a 2 Homers, a Triple, a walk, and 5 RBIs. Amazing game Mr. Jones.

Hanson pitched a lot better than the scoreboard showed. Made a couple of mistakes to Ryan Braun, but he will learn from them. I was thinking that Braun or Fielder would take him yards today anyway. Good luck in the next start Tommy.

I just finished a write-up of the pitch f/x data for Hanson’s MLB debut. Here it is: http://capitolavenueclub.com/?p=305

I am tremendously excited with what I saw out of Tommy Hanson. His slider was unhitable. He had difficulty getting his fastball down in the zone, but what a teaching experience that had to be. Big League hitters will absolutely punish that.

I wish Ross had helped him out more with that. What I mean is, since he obviously had GREAT command of the slider, throw the fast ball OFF the plate for effect, and throw the slider for the out pitch. It looked to me like he was pitching backward from that. When he got in trouble He would throw the slider early in the count, then throw a high in the zone fast ball. The first indicator of that was Parra’s double.

Anyway, I agree that his line does not reflect how well he pitched. And tip your cap to the Brewers. I like their team.

PWJ – I don’t always agree with you, but after reading your analysis on Tommy’s start, you hit the nail on the head! I was having the same exact conversation with my father on the phone yesterday. David Ross called a HORRIBLE game! Hanson was two – three pitches away from dominance. Ross had no business calling fastball on 0-2 and 1-2 counts! I’m sure blowing the heaters by batters in the first few innings contributed to that philosophy, but Ross should know that once they go through the lineup and see Tommy, the “blow the fast ball by them again” mentality just won’t work on Major League hitters. Hanson’s stuff is freaking nasty. His slider comes out looking like a fastball and I’m sure if he locates it right he can get batters to chase once he’s ahead in the count. That curve was nasty too. And he threw it for strikes. When you have that kind of stuff – fastballs should be used to get ahead in the count or located in such a way to saw off batters or back them off the plate… or for high cheese.
I’m actually glad he got hit around a little yesterday, especially since we got the win. It was a great learning experience for him. Now that his feet are back on the ground, he can build from those mistakes and be pleased with how he started and that his team has his back. I was VERY impressed with what I saw from him yesterday and he has a bright future! I can’t believe he was selected in the 22 round! What a steal!
And way to go Nate McClouth! You were the offensive difference maker! No one else likely would have stepped up big like you did with that double. I can honestly say that having McClouth in the lineup won us the game.
Hopefully Wren will realize after being shutout back to back that we still need some offensive help. Once Infante comes back, I love a move involving Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson for Mark Derosa or Matt Holiday! With our pitching and one more dependent stick in the lineup we are legit contenders!

Yeah Bravo, way too many fastballs in waste pitch counts. I don’t know if the organization wanted him throwing more fastballs (organizations frequently want their young pitchers throwing more fastballs just so they get used to pitching off of it), or if Ross is to blame, but with 2 nasty breaking pitches he shouldn’t be throwing fastballs ahead in the count in the zone. Especially to right handed hitters. The stuff was there, though, and he’s going to be good for a long time barring injury (knock on wood).

The good thing is he was getting ahead of nearly every hitter. And he has the out pitches. We’ll see him put it together pretty soon.

That is the part so often overlooked about a kid’s debut, the catchers have about 20 minutes of time in the pen with them to work from. Hanson will be even better when the catchers know what to call when. In Gwinnett Tommy had a nasty combo he used a bunch with two strikes. He busts the guy inside with the fastball, then starts the slider or curve off inner half and breaks it off the plate. If they had to fly open to get the fastball, when they flew open on the slider they had no chance.
Once the battery is on the same page it will be a whole lot different.
I got so spoiled listening to Don Sutton talk pitching that it is really hard to stomach “Joesy” and “Big Boog” talking pitching.

i was watching ESPN First Take this morning and they reported that the top 2 teams in the Matt Holiday sweepstakes are the Stl. Card and NY Mets! i would hate to see the the Mets land Holliday! Knowing the moves we made last week, i will continue to support the efforts from our front office, but i would love to see one more deal for someone with the capabilities of Holliday.

I think it would be better though if we tried to package KJ with GA and a couple prospects for holliday because keeping francouer at least gives you a gold glove calaber outfielder despite is sparatic offensive struggles. Holliday, McLouth, and Francouer and we sure would be contenders!! That would also allow Omar to play on an everyday basis once he is off the DL and would secure the leadoff spot for the braves!

Either Holliday or DeRosa. We need to make a move sooner than later. Obviously Wren is making a push this year to contend. We’re 6 games out right now and we’ll keep winning 1 of 3 or 2 of 5 until we bolster our lineup. Scoreless in 20+ innings is not going to cut it. We hands down have the Phils and Mets on pitching. We need to start hitting the ball or slowly we will fade away. .500 isn’t going to do it in this division.
DeRosa or Holliday is the answer!

I attended the games both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, which was from a personal perspective nice to see games on back-to-back days as I rarely get to do so. The stadium was certainly buzzing when Hanson took the mound on Sunday, and I for one do not believe he disappointed. Certainly too many fastballs in waste counts, especially with the ridiculous amount of tilt he was getting on his breaking pitches, but overall very impressive. The command was just a little off in those middle-innings, but I thought the general body of work was right in line with expectations. Up until that 5th-6th inning point, I was astounded by the efficiency of his pitch count….he continues to do what he did yesterday and he’ll have more good starts than bad.
I was also hoping to see Chipper hit for the cycle as well, but I can’t blame the Brewers for the decision. Chipper was clearly the one killing the Brewers, and Diaz had been hit on the hand the previous inning….it just made sense to take your chances with the guy that has less talent, wasn’t hitting the tar out of the ball that day, and might have a sore hand.
You might notice I said nothing about the Saturday game….that’s because it really was just as bad as it likely looked on tv.

The Indians are looking for pitching in exchange for DeRosa. I think we could put together a package that would net us DeRo and his salary, but Medlen would probably have to be involved. As for Holliday, it’d be hard to swing a deal for him and his salary. It could get done, but it’d take quite a bit. We’re pretty tapped financially. The A’s would be looking for prospects, not players that make money. I doubt any team has interest in GA (especially a non-contender, he could be a useful bench bat for a contender). KJ is coveted by teams, but he is not what the A’s would be looking for in a package for Holliday. Strictly prospects.

“The Demise in the Center of the D”

As I sat, along the third base side of Atlanta Fulton County stadium on that Wednesday evening, in early April, back in 1991, I almost cried as I noticed something for the first time in my life. That being, the reality of change of a grander scale. Change, something that many people struggle to adapt and accept, rightfully so. Sid Bream, Rafael Belliard, and Terry Pendleton. I asked really? Who? This is the answer? Clearly, interesting at best. I liked Ken Oberkfell, I liked Andres Thomas, well only one year I might add. I liked Rafael Ramirez, and I certainly liked Chris Chambliss. Although I have to admit, that his fist pumping homerun against the Royals in that playoff game, in late October, wearing that Yankee uniform, is my most notable memory of him. Bottom line, is I liked them. Looking out on to the field, for the first time since I started going to what would be mine and my fathers favorite past time and lasting memory, there it was, Opening Day. Starring right at me and piercing through my soul and heart like Robinson Crusoes fate at the Island of Despair. Change on the grandest scale. It became real, it became obvious, it became a defining moment in my young life. Realizing that change is way more than a different pair of shoes, another grade of school, a different type of cereal or sausage instead of pepperoni. No, you see, this was, to me, a much more bitter taste of reality. The Atlanta Braves, season after season, losers of 100 games, more than once. To me, the Braves were life, they were the World they were the way, and they certainly were every bit of that in my life. Life, as I knew it, only evolved around them, and when September came around and as the late Skip used to say, so long everybody, we’ll see you next year, never saying what I wanted so badly to hear him say, we’ll see you in October baby. Life existed only April-September. There I sat, for the first time in my life, with a feeling of true fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the new, fear of change. Change was a coming and I didn’t like it. I hated it, but like with any time of change, it’s almost strangely forced. Forced as I was about change, I almost wanted the new comers to fail. Odd that the only thing of the Atlanta Braves I knew was true and utter failure. See a strange resemblance here? I do, no doubt. Had I become complacent with failure, was failure the only thing I knew? There, right in the center of the D, the demise of true failure, sat an opportunity for change and I hated every bit of it. Well, any Braves fan knows how that change turned out. An extra inning loss in game 7 of the World Series, not too bad. Next April, I hope I sit in that same spot, on the third base side, only this time at the Ted, just a few feet away and hope, just hope, I feel that same sense of change on the grandest stage.

Damn,
That’s a good post, costaschronicles.

Hey thanks PWHjort!! I’m hoping for change~

hey I remember sitting there in late May of that same year. I don’t remember who the Braves were playing, but it was getting late in the game and they got the bases loaded. Up comes Sid Bream. I remember thinking, anybody but him, please… (I had never witnessed a grand slam in person, so I really wanted to see one). Damn if he didn’t get it. I had a feeling that something big was going to happen for the Braves that year. I figured if Sid Bream could yak a grand slam anything was possible. I went to boot camp shortly after that game, so I missed most of the amazing run that season, but 13 more followed, so I made up for it I guess. Although when the Braves won the world series in 95, I was over in Sicily at the time, so I had to watch the games at 2 am while standing on my balcony, constantly messing with the antenna wire to get reception. So, please, please, please can you get me another one that I can watch from the comfort of my own living room in front of my own TV???

Just a couple of off topic questions. I am from Chicago-land so I get to hear about the White Sox and Cubs more than I like, but at least its baseball. There is talk that the White Sox may be willing to part with Jermaine Dye, would it be feasible for the Braves to trade outfielder for outfielder, send Frenchy to Chicago and bring Dye back to the team he came up with? Secondly, I remember talk of a deal between the Braves and the Cardinals for Ryan Ludwick (I used to live in the St. Louis area). Knowing the Cardinals have an excess of outfielders is there a deal the Braves may be able to make with STL to get the slugging OF?

Wow…. the memories of the past. I remember a stadium that averaged maybe 1000 on a good day. Being young, big league baseball was godly. I didn’t think about trades, money and ownership. I just wanted to see these gods and get a signed baseball from Hank Aaron. Now….. I see the greed, trades, lies and lack of fan support. I hope Hanson and Medlen leave before they become engulfed in the pool of misery surroundoing the Braves organization since Ted Turner left. One day the team will find themselves, good management and owners. Until then….. they are lost and will never see a post season. The signs of time have taken their toll on this organization.

What in the world has gotten into Chipper? 3 home runs in his last 4 at bats? 3 home runs and a triple if you look at his last 5 at bats?

Seriously, we need it, and good on McLouth for putting a runner on.

Mark or anyone else who might know, why is Jordan Schafer not playing in AAA? Are they giving him time off? Or what is going on?

Chipper Jones said, screw it, if nobody else on the offense wants to play, I’ll win all the games by myself. And he will. It’s times like this that re-assure me we got a steal when we signed Chipper to that extension.

Chipper needs to share some of those Wheaties that he eats for breakfast with the rest of the team. Don’t be greedy Chip. Give Frenchy an extra bowl and send some down to Jordan as well.

MARK!
What is up with the Red Sox and the Braves over ****? Are they looking at Yunel, Martin, or Diory?

Diory. Some dude at AJC blog said his cousin works in the Red Sox FO and he said they’re looking at Diory. And DOB basically confirmed it. I can only believe they’re looking at Diory as well. No way we move Escobar, Prado can’t possibly play SS every day, and there aren’t any other healthy, competent, MLB-ready SS in our system. Wouldn’t cost them too much. Probably not worth us giving Diory up.

That is exactly what I was thinking. I’m not sure that Diory should be traded right now though with Omar still on the DL and Prado being the 1st baseman while Kotch is on the DL as well.

Welcome to the Braves McLouth.

Chipper continues his hitting streak.

McCann provides us some insurance.

Since leaving the game on Saturday night with a DIZZY spell, Chipper is 6 for 6 with three dingers and a triple.

And two walks. Don’t forget that – he has a frickin ridiculous OBP, an even better OPS… dang.

I tend to agree, Darion. Though KJ might be able to play SS since that’s his natural position and we could call up Canizares to play 1B in Kotchman’s absence. Use KJ as back-up SS and every day 2B and Prado as back-up 1B, 2B, and 3B.

That could possibly work although I would be scared of Kelly’s defense since he hasn’t played there in years.

Why are the Red Sox interested in Diory and who would we get from them? I haven’t heard of this at all and I have no idea why the BoSox need a poor infielder with good potential hitting(but terrible stats so far in the Majors)… Can you provide a link?

And that is why Francoeur is coveted for his arm. He stopped a run just with the threat of his arm..

neverwhere:
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

Was on there earlier today. It’s probably still on the front page. It’s just speculation. Dude man from the Boston Globe said the Red Sox have had “discussions with Atlanta about *a shortstop*” though he failed to specify who.

It seems there might be some credence to the Red Sox showing some interest in Diory. But obviously with Infante out, the Braves are very thin at SS and would need Boston to supply a middle infielder in return. While simply playing a guessing game at this point, maybe the Braves would have some interest in Nick Green. Basically the Red Sox would be interested in a bat and the Braves would be interested in this deal from a defensive perspective…But so far, Diory hasn’t been the defensive butcher that I expected to see.

glad Anderson is out of the game, he would have never made that play

Mark, do you know why Schafer isnt playing at AAA?

I saw the mlbtraderumors thing as well. I know it was just their writers speculating the guy was Yunel Escobar, but that cracks me up. First, the guys there are usually on top of the game in terms of knowing who the guy actually is, and secondly, there’d just be no fit with Yunel. Boston’s made it quite apparent they don’t want to trade their young pitchers, and the Braves need bats not more pitching depth. Mark’s suggestion of Diory/Green makes sense, but just seems to be a bit of a waste…..not really good or bad, just a change of scenery. Diory for Baldelli would make more sense from a Braves perspective but would only involve the Sox if they felt they were close on a Holliday/Hawpe type to help their OF out. Especially considering Ellsbury’s recent shoulder scare.

Schafer felt some discomfort in his left wrist while swinging the bat on Friday night. He visited a doctor today and the Braves said they will have an update on him tomorrow. Brandon Jones also had his left knee examined via an MRI exam on Monday. We should also know more about him on Tuesday.

I say Diaz or Francoeur pitch next if we need someone to. Weren’t both of them pitchers once?

Alright, I finallly just finished painting my bathroom that took me two weeks…tough getting up and down from the sink to come in and check the score….but now my wife is happy, so can we finally put this game away and maybe run off another 10 or so in a row!!! I promise I’ll paint every room in my house as long as we keep winning….

scratch that. Diaz has already been used.

here we go….

just squeez and stay out of the dp at least….

ugly way to win, but we’ll take it…time to go get more paint!!!

Finally! back to .500 we go

How did Ross “single?” Did they just let it happen because they knew he was going to get the run? Or what? Ross isn’t fast, he’s not going to get an infield single… I couldn’t watch the game, stupid FSN…

what do yall think about the recent play of yunel, it looks like hes having a tough time at the plate and he is still making mental mistakes he been in the leauge and some of the plays he makes really bother me. I see no progress in his game. Maybe its just me, but anyways Go Braves

I think Yunel is doing fine. Defense is a little shaky every once in a while, but there really is no better option.

Just an interesting stat, but Chipper now leads the NL in OBP and is second in the Majors just behind Youkilis of the Red Sox.

Move Diory before he gets any tough ones hit to him. Right now he looks like a shortstop. The Red Sox would be a great fit. They have AAA power in the LF/1B positions as well as Nick “I’m from Duluth High” Green.
Blanco is just a butcher in the outfield, good thing Medlen is used to pitching around his mistakes.
Schafer is “Day to Day” with the wrist. He will probably get in pretty soon.
Unfortunately it would be a pretty big surprise to have Canizares come up for Kotchman. He is not on the 40 man, which causes changes, and he has some of the worst technique I have ever seen at first base. He even takes balls to the side on practice grounders. He really isn’t even close defensively, but he has a great bat no doubt.

One of my favorite days of the year is today. Rule 4 draft. I’m praying Tyler Matzek will make it to 7. If not him, then I pray Zach Wheeler will make it to 7. And if neither of those guys makes it I really hope the organization takes a good look at drafting Grant Green over Alex White or Shelby Miller. I think Green will be THE steal of the draft. Pre-season he was expected to go 2 overall. And it isn’t like he’s had a bad or injury-plagued season. He’s actually played extremely well after his slow start. Donovan Tate and Alex White are the only guys I wouldn’t be happy with, though.

I agree, fun day today. Tate would have been a great story if he wasn’t a little Boras “HO”. Too bad, as long as Scott Boras continues to get what he is looking for, he will continue to be the biggest pimp out there. The kids would be idiots to not sign with him right now. It is so sad when an agent has that much control over an entire sport.

Tate reminds me too much of Jeff Francoeur. Boras or not, I don’t like the idea of taking him 7th overall. Not that positional need effects our draft strategy in the early rounds (it doesn’t, you take the guy you have highest on your board that’s still available in the early rounds regardless of position), but if we’re taking a position player I’d prefer an infielder, we have enough OF’s in our farm.

More like George Lombard than Francoeur. Who, coincidentally is probably good friends with Lars Tate.

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