Tommy Hanson: “I was having mental issues with the death of my younger brother”

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Last month Tommy Hanson took a bereavement leave from the Angels following the death of his stepbrother, returning to the team after six days away. He made two starts, pitching relatively well, but then decided he wasn’t fully ready to return, leaving the team again for what proved to be another three weeks.

Hanson is back with the Angels now and expected to start Friday against the Astros. And the right-hander opened up to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times about what he went through since his 26-year-old stepbrother’s death:

I was having mental issues with the death of my younger brother. I was just trying to get through it. I didn’t know how to handle it. That was the first time anything like that had ever happened to me. I didn’t know how to cope with it. … Physically, I feel great. I’m in great shape. I just had to deal with the issues going on in my head.

MLB instituting bereavement leave a few years back was a good idea, but players regularly being placed on the bereavement list can make it easy to forget that they’re simply guys who just lost someone close to them and in many cases aren’t prepared to return to work after 3-7 days. Kudos to the Angels for giving Hanson all the time he needed away from the team and here’s hoping he’s found some peace in the month since his stepbrother’s death.

Braves place Sean Newcomb on concussion injured list

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The Atlanta Braves placed pitcher Sean Newcomb on the seven-day concussion list retroactive to Tuesday.

Newcomb was hit in the back of the head by a 102 m.p.h. line drive off the bat of J.T. Realmuto on Saturday night. The ball hit him so hard that it ricocheted to the screen behind the Phillies dugout. Despite that, Newcomb passed post-incident concussion tests and said he felt fine. It can take a little bit for concussion symptoms to become apparent, however, and that’s likely what happened here.

The Braves called up right-hander Huascar Ynoa from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Newcomb’s place on the roster.