Tommy Hanson was diagnosed with a small “undersurface” rotator tear of his rotator cuff last Friday, but the news was more slightly more encouraging following a visit to Dr. James Andrews yesterday.
Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Hanson was told by Andrews that he is dealing with regular wear and tear in his shoulder. The young right-hander was cleared to resume his rehab and could begin some light throwing within the next few days.
“Andrews said there are a lot of guys that are way worse off than me,” said Hanson, who was told by Braves orthopedic surgeon Xavier Duralde that 75 percent of pitchers have something similar. “Just hearing it’s normal wear and tear (that) just for whatever reason got inflamed definitely gives me some peace of mind and I’m a lot happier after seeing (Andrews) than I was over the weekend.”
Hanson will have to avoid any setbacks, but Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is “optimistic” that he could be ready to pitch again within a couple weeks. It’s possible Hanson could return in a bullpen role, but if all goes well during the month of September, he would likely join Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson and Brandon Beachy in the projected postseason rotation.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.