Despite a coming visit with Dr. Death (James Andrews), the Atlanta Braves believe that there is no major damage to Tommy Hanson’s shoulder and he shouldn’t require surgery.
Hanson, who last started on August 6th, is missing time on the disabled list for the second time this season.
With the season ending in about a month, the Braves may miss Hanson for the rest of the year even if he avoids surgery.
Hanson has spent about 2.5 years in the majors so he still is a large part of the team’s future. With the depth of pitching the Braves have in the minors (both Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado will likely be called up at some point in September) there is no reason to rush Hanson back and risk further damage to his shoulder.
Hanson has a 3.60 ERA, 3.66 FIP and 3.24 xFIP on the season. He was one of the Braves best starters before the All-Star break (and deserved to be on the All-Star team) but has struggled since then.
Ideally, Hanson would return in time for the playoffs, but the Braves have plenty of options even without him. However, a healthy Hanson would be the Braves first or second starter in a playoff series.
Irene Causes Cancellations
The Braves and Mets have postponed the final two games of their current series due to Hurricane Irene. The games will be played as a double header on September 8th (the teams only common remaining off day).
Because of the double header, the Braves will play for 15 straight days (16 games) down the stretch. The double header comes on the heels of a series with the Philadelphia Phillies. The final game of the Phillies series is scheduled for 7:05 PM so the Braves won’t even have a day game to get out of town early before heading to New York.
The majority of the Braves remaining schedule is against division opponents (six games against the Phillies, Marlins and Nationals; five against the Mets) and they also have series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals.