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  1. Expected and great news. The Braves didn’t need to make a lot of additions this offseason. They just needed to get healthy. Here’s to a great push for the division or wildcard(s)! Hanson can be a dominant starter if he can just stay healthy, always a big if.

    Comment by Josh — February 3, 2012 @ 9:52 am

  2. I’ve read in some less erudite fantasy sources that Hanson suffers from durability issues–in each season in the show, his performance suffers after 100 IP because his fastball velocity tails off.

    You know those neat Pitch F/X FAv charts? How do you make one of them? I’d love to see whether/the degree to which that claim is accurate.

    Comment by cable fixer — February 3, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  3. hopefully he can keep that K/9 above 9 while he eats the innings

    Comment by adohaj — February 3, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  4. Using injuries as an excuse for missing the playoffs? It was a giant choke job, not injuries that did them in.

    Comment by Not Dave — February 3, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  5. His arm action still troubles me. The whole stopping the elbow in mid-motion business. If he throws 180 innings they will be good innings with a likely high K rate, but from a fantasy perspective, buyer beware. I think occasional 15-day DL stints might be the norm for Hanson.

    Comment by hernandez17 — February 3, 2012 @ 9:59 am

  6. Agreed. Cardinals had plenty of injuries too.

    Comment by Ben — February 3, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  7. Hudson’s not neccesarily expected to be ready for spring training. GM Frank Wren and pitching coach Roger McDowell have been quoted in recent days saying that Hudson might be held back until the end of April or early May before joining the rotation of the major league team. I assume that means he still will be in Spring Training working, but that they might just try to hold him back a little bit at the beginning of the season to make sure his back is fully healed (and make sure he is strong down the stretch).

    Comment by harpago17 — February 3, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  8. Agreed, but where did someone make that excuse?

    Comment by Josh — February 3, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  9. Ah thought you were talking to me, see what you mean now. This writer isn’t a Braves fan, we know we choked.

    Comment by Josh — February 3, 2012 @ 10:06 am

  10. My thought process here was that if either Hanson or Jurrjens were healthy down the stretch, I think the Braves would have made the playoffs.

    Comment by Chris Cwik — February 3, 2012 @ 10:08 am

  11. Game-to-game velocity charts are in Hanson’s FanGraphs player profile if you are interested:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.aspx?playerid=9129&position=P&pitch=FA

    League wide velocities tend to be lower in April as well because of the temperature, I believe Mike Fast or Harry Pavlidis did a study showing that before.

    Comment by Albert Lyu — February 3, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  12. I understand that’s probably true. But as a Braves fan we have to own up to that garbage we played for 3 weeks in September. No excuse.

    Comment by Josh — February 3, 2012 @ 10:24 am

  13. His wind up is pretty strange… It’s really tough to see where he gets his leverage from. I think what concerns me most about his arm action is that with exception to a strong push off, it looks like he generates his forward power only with his shoulder and arm. The momentum elsewhere basically results in an upright jerky rotating twist towards first base.

    Comment by baty — February 3, 2012 @ 10:34 am

  14. this. is. awesome.

    thanks!

    Comment by cable fixer — February 3, 2012 @ 10:43 am

  15. Braves will only need 2 starts from 5th starter in April. So if rotation is Hanson, Jurrjens, Beachy and Minor, and who knows for 5th, not bad. Even without one of these, not that bad.

    Comment by TK — February 3, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  16. That’s not the issue I see as the cause for his shoulder issues. Its the active deceleration of his pitching arm after release. The arm should be allowed to slow down naturally and brake against the body. Hanson uses his muscles to slow it down quicker and eventually recoil back.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 3, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  17. Are there many pitchers who have rotator cuff issues that don’t eventually turn into full blown shoulder issues? I have no idea, wondering if anyone does.

    Comment by Ben Hall — February 3, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  18. Injuries down the stretch didn’t help, but since the Braves missed clinching the playoffs by 2 lousy games, the real problem was Gonzalez’ and/or Wren’s idiotic decision to keep sending Derek Lowe out to pitch batting practice during the stretch run, including the pivotal final game instead of pitching Teheran or Medlen (cf Matt Moore and TB).

    Comment by bvillebaron — February 3, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  19. Moore’s superhuman and was 22-years-old. Teheran was 20, he was shaky at best in his short stint and Medlen was coming off Tommy John surgery. Lowe was a HUGE reason why they made the playoffs in 2010, he was phenomenal down the stretch and kept that team afloat after losing Chipper, Jurrjens, and Prado. They had other options, but I can’t really fault them for sending Lowe out there.

    And didn’t Hudson start game 162?

    Comment by Undocorkscrew — February 3, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

  20. Yeah, he does. Pretty interesting

    Comment by Bath — February 3, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

  21. FWIW, Sep. 2010 was the only month of his Braves career that Lowe posted an ERA under 3.00. But the timing was nice. We’re still waaaaaaay better with him gone.

    Comment by bstar — February 4, 2012 @ 12:08 am

  22. in the medical community (not research), the word “interesting” is usually bad. And, as we are talking about a medical condition (healing, dl stints, rehab)….

    Comment by Cidron — February 4, 2012 @ 1:01 am

  23. Dr. Andrews said that 3 of 4 pitchers have the same tear in the rotator cuff that Hanson does. It’s natural wear and tear. The inflammation in his shoulder last year was caused by a back injury that messed up his mechanics.

    Comment by Andy G. — February 4, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  24. ERA for a month – what a great, insightful stat!

    you can’t spell bstar without BS!

    Comment by Nick — February 4, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  25. We were talking about one particular month. What would you use for a monthly stat, FIP?

    Comment by bstar — February 4, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

  26. Sure… I was only paying attention to the weirdness with how he accelerates his motion… didn’t even catch the weirdness with how he decelerates. I can definitely see that being stressful.

    Comment by baty — February 5, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  27. You can’t fault them for starting Lowe the first few times, but it was pretty obvious he was gone. After he goes 5ER/5IP, 4ER/6IP, and especially the next start, 6ER/2.1IP, I don’t see how you didn’t do everything in your power to try to start someone else.

    Of course, using O’ventrebral so much probably hurt them too, but hindsight is 20/20. Maybe if he doesn’t use them so much early in the season, they aren’t even in the position to choke.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — February 6, 2012 @ 3:40 am

  28. obvioulsy bstar, don’t you know that ALL pitchers, even ground ball guys like Lowe, are best evaluated with a stat that only looks at homers, ks, and bbs?

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — February 6, 2012 @ 3:40 am

  29. Honestly, I don’t expect Hanson to stay healthy. His delivery looks weird to me, a real violent jerk going from a sort of inverted “L” position. Plus his elbow is above his shoulder I believe which I’ve heard is a bad sign. On top of both of those, his motion is like “slow, slow, fast” which I’ve also heard is bad (causes the violent jerk). Apparently there are also issues in his follow through mentioned above. It’s a shame because he can be dominant. Most reports I hear about guys being healthy I throw in the “best shape of my life” pile.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — February 6, 2012 @ 3:46 am

  30. http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/PitchingMechanics101/Analyses/TommyHanson.html

    Some good pics of the sudden jerk. I mislabed his “inverted L” I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it. Basically instead of his forearm being vertical, it’s leaning away from him, which means there is a really sudden jerk when the elbow moves foreward that puts stress on his elbow and shoulder.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — February 6, 2012 @ 3:49 am

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