Odds and ends from Braves camp
Tommy Hanson came to Spring Training expecting to be barraged with questions about his new altered delivery. Three days into this year’s camp, he suddenly finds himself wishing he could be answering those questions and not the ones regarding the one-car accident he had early Monday morning.
Hanson is expected to make an appearance in Braves camp Thursday. At that time, he will likely provide some clarity about what happened and more importantly how he has felt since being diagnosed with a Grade 1 concussion following the accident.
Whatever the case, Hanson will likely not be cleared to resume participating in workouts before Monday.
Kris Medlen said that he has seen Hanson sleeping a lot over the past few days at the residence they are sharing during Spring Training. But it should be noted that he also added, “That’s really not out of the ordinary for him.”
Obviously many of you are wondering whether Hanson will be ready at the start of the season. But with all of the recent studies done regarding concussions, the only thing that matters now is that Hanson go through the recovery before returning.
Sure, he’d like to make the Opening Day start against the Mets. But in the grand scheme of things does it really matter if he makes his season debut during the Mets series or the one that follows against the Astros in Houston?
Speaking of Houston, Michael Bourn arrived in camp today and said that the Braves have not yet contacted him about a possible contract extension. No real surprise here. It makes much more sense for the club to evaluate him over the course of an entire season and get a better feel for what they truly need beyond this year.
Bourn is one of the game’s few prototypical leadoff hitters and he has established himself as the game’s premier basestealer over the past few years. But will his speed skills start to diminish once he goes north of 30, an age he will reach in December. It might be easier to take a chance on a three-year deal with him. But I would expect Scott Boras will at least start the bidding a little higher.
With Bourn’s arrival, Tyler Pastornicky is the only projected starting position player who has not yet arrived. Yet if he arrives Thursday, he will still be early. If he had arrived early, the angle would have been that he’s excited to prepare for the job that he has been given.
But the fact that Pastornicky has not yet been in camp really does not mean much. He has been working out with Jack Wilson and will come to camp prepared. We’re still more than a month away from Opening Day.
Adam Russell has turned some heads when he has been walking through the clubhouse this week. He is a 6-foot-8 reliever who might be the biggest reliever I have ever seen in a Braves clubhouse. In a recent mailbag, I wrote think more Adam Dunn than Charlie Kerfeld. On second thought, think of a super-sized Dunn.
“We’ve got football players walking around here?” Javy Lopez questioned when he recently saw the big pitcher.
Check back Thursday for updates on Hanson and other Braves news.
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