Drew asked the other day, “What’s the Deal With Tommy Hanson?” Well, we’re about to find out.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and pitching coach Roger McDowell plan to talk with Hanson to determine whether he needs to be skipped in the rotation or have his scheduled Friday start pushed back.
Hanson gave up a season-high seven runs over 3 1/3 innings in Saturday’s loss to the Mets and has an 8.10 ERA over his first five starts since the All-Star break. While he has struck out 33 batters over 26 2/3 innings during the same timespan, he has shown diminished velocity in recent starts. Hanson declined to discuss whether he was having any issues with his shoulder following Saturday’s outing, but he previously went on the disabled list in June with right rotator cuff tendinitis.
The Braves have a scheduled off-day on Thursday, so they could skip Hanson and use rookie left-hander Mike Minor on regular rest Friday against the Cubs.
Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.
Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.
Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.
Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:
“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”