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.
Extension season continues. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt are close to an agreement on a five-year extension. The value is believed to be around $130 million, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goldschmidt was set to become a free agent after the season.
The Cardinals acquired Goldschmidt, 31, from the Diamondbacks in December in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and a 2019 competitive balance round B pick. The slugger is a six-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Goldschmidt owns a career .297/.398/.532 triple-slash line along with 209 home runs, 710 RBI, 709 runs scored, and 124 stolen bases. He is also well-regarded for his defense at first base. As a result, he has accumulated 40.3 Wins Above Replacement over eight seasons, according to Baseball Reference.
With Goldschmidt in place, the Cardinals are set at first base for the foreseeable future. Though Goldschmidt got off to a slow start last season, carrying an OPS barely above .700 into June, he recovered and finished with a .922 OPS. That two-month blip aside, there’s no reason to think Goldschmidt’s production is about to fall off anytime soon.