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.
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
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As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.
After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.