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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.