Odds and ends from Braves camp: Thursday
It seemed telling when Braves general manager Frank Wren said Tommy Hanson looked much different Thursday than he had during the previous few days. This seemed to be further indication that Hanson had indeed been pretty shaken up after suffering a Grade 1 concussion during a one-car accident early Monday morning.
When the Braves provided initial details of the wreck it was hard to envision exactly how he had injured himself. We were informed that his tire blew and he went off the side of the road. There were not any details about how the car came to rest or how he had jarred his head enough to create swelling around his brain.
Fortunately Hanson has provided a little clearer picture with the details that are available in this story (video included). The condensed version of his story is that he is no longer feeling headaches, dizziness or other concussion symptoms. He will continue taking concussion impact tests over the next few days and could be cleared for workouts as early as Monday.
It is quite evident that Hanson feels fortunate that he did not suffer a greater injury once his care went off the side of the road, down a small embankment and traveled approximately another 90 feet.
“I was in a field,” Hanson said. “Most of the time, there are ponds right there. Thank God it wasn’t a pond. I would have had to swim out of there.”
The Braves are not currently pursuing free agent Roy Oswalt, who is now saying he could opt to sign with a team in June or July. But if Hanson would continue to have problems over the next few weeks or Jair Jurrjens’ right knee does not prove as sound as it appears now, you have to wonder if the Braves would show more interest in the veteran hurler.
Oswalt would likely enjoy pitching for the Braves and remaining within relative proximity of his home in Weir, Mississippi.
But if the Braves’ starting pitchers stay healthy through the remainder of camp, it is not likely a play will be made for Oswalt.
Barring any setbacks, the Braves rotation to begin this year will include Hanson, Jurrjens, Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor and either Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado. There is no doubt Delgado was the more polished pitcher last year. But Teheran obviously has the higher ceiling and might have made some strides during the winter.
Braves manage Fredi Gonzalez is now saying Teheran or Delgado will be used as a starter either with Atlanta or Triple-A Gwinnett. Not sure why he said a few weeks ago that one of them could be used in a relief role if necessary. Whatever the case, neither of them is going to see their development stunted while being used as a reliever.
When Chipper Jones returned to camp today, Brian McCann was happy to tell him about the “Fat Chipper” rumors that had created a buzz on the internet the internet this week because of one picture that was snapped while the wind was blowing through Chipper’s shirt. Given that he weighs between 225-230 pounds right now, Chipper laughed and allowed McCann to have his fun.
“Mac is so happy now because every time that (chubby) kid comes on the (scoreboard screen) before our (home) games and yells, ‘Play Ball’, I’m like, ‘hey that’s Mac,’” Jones said.
While Chipper Jones was in camp today, Tyler Pastornicky was not. Like all other position players, Pastornicky has until Friday to report. But given that he has been given a chance to begin this year as Atlanta’s starting shortstop, it was easy to assume the 22-year-old infielder might have been anxious to get to what will be just his second big league camp.
Yesterday, I said he still has plenty of time and all of that other stuff. While that still applies, I’ll have to admit I’m surprised he did not at least show up during Thursday’s workout. But really all that matters is that he shows up to camp ready and spends the next five weeks doing whatever necessary to prepare for his first experience at the Major League level.