After meeting with the Braves’ physical therapist Tommy Hanson has altered his delivery in an effort to avoid the shoulder problems that plagued him last season.
Hanson described the change as “not drastic, but definitely different” and the Braves are also hoping it makes him tougher for opponents to steal bases on after he allowed runners to go 30-for-33 last year.
Hanson told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that he previously felt like he was “throwing with all arm” and is “cutting out that pause” in his delivery. And so far at least Hanson hasn’t seen a dropoff in his velocity or movement with the new delivery, which is key considering how dominant he’s been when healthy with the old setup.
Through early July last year Hanson had a 2.44 ERA, .190 opponents’ batting average, and 109/35 K/BB ratio in 103 innings, but he then allowed 24 runs in his next 27 innings before being shut down in mid-August.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.