Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson (shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to August 7, so he is eligible to be activated early next week — Monday, to be exact.
But that’s probably not going to happen.
According to Mark Bowman and Chris Cox of MLB.com, Hanson’s sore right shoulder has not made enough progress to this point and the 24-year-old is likely to remain sidelined until the last week of August. He’s throwing, but he is not close to beginning a minor league rehab assignment.
Here’s the young Atlanta ace, addressing his ongoing recovery Thursday in a conversation with reporters:
“I threw today and it all feels good,” Hanson said. “I think we’re just kind of going day by day right now and making sure everything is fine. It felt great today. Each day just gradually do a little more and more and try to build up to get ready to pitch. I want to get back out there as soon as possible. But I don’t want to rush it, go back out there too soon and have something bother me again. Or go out there too soon and not help us win when somebody else can.”
Hanson has posted a fantastic 3.60 ERA and 142 strikeouts through 130 innings this year, but his July ERA was 4.58 and he allowed seven runs on eight hits in his only August start. The extra rest should help.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.