The Braves announced prior to Friday’s game that an MRI showed a small tear in Tommy Hanson’s rotator cuff that won’t require surgery. The hope is that he’ll return to the rotation in mid-September.
It’s a scary diagnosis for Braves fans, though it certainly could be worse; most major league pitchers have some sort of rotator cuff and/or labrum damage after a few years on the job. Hanson’s tear doesn’t qualify as particularly unusual. Still, that doesn’t mean it won’t worsen and require surgery at some point.
The Braves would certainly love to have Hanson back to join Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens and Brandon Beachy in their postseason rotation. If he can’t go, that means Derek Lowe figures to find himself in the fourth spot. There’s also the possibility that Hanson could return as a reliever, but he should have time to get stretched back out if his rehab goes as planned.