Tag: Tommy Hanson

Tommy Hanson Autopsy Reveals Cocaine, Alcohol as Causes of Death

Autopsy results released Friday show former Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tommy Hanson died after delayed complications of cocaine and alcohol toxicity.  

Alexis Stevens of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Hanson was staying at a friend’s home in the Atlanta area on Nov. 8 when his friend’s girlfriend found him unresponsive and called 911. He died one day later at age 29.

The report noted the death has been ruled accidental by Coweta coroner Richard Hawk. The preliminary report released by the county’s sheriff’s office also noted no signs of foul play.

Hanson last pitched in the major leagues with the Angels in 2013. He posted a 5.42 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP across 15 appearances. His best season came as a rookie with Atlanta in 2009 when he went 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 127.2 innings.

The Oklahoma native had spent the past two years in the minor league systems of the Chicago White Sox and the San Francisco Giants.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Tommy Hanson, Former MLB Pitcher, Dies at 29

Former Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tommy Hanson has died at the age of 29.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com passed along the tragic news Tuesday morning: “A Braves representative confirmed that some of Hanson’s former teammates were near Hanson when he passed away at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital late Monday night.”

The Braves sent out a tweet with their condolences:

According to Zach Klein of WSB-TV in Atlanta, the pitcher suffered “catastrophic organ failure.” Hanson had been in the hospital since Sunday, according to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale.

Hanson, 29, had not appeared in a major league game since 2013. The Braves once considered him a “staff ace-in-waiting,” according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. However, shoulder issues and a decline in pitch velocity limited his productivity later in his career.

Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons tweeted out his condolences:

He went 21-15 with a solid 3.16 ERA for the Braves from 2009 to 2010 before injuries became an issue. Hanson was part of the San Francisco Giants’ minor league system in 2015 and finished with a 4.76 ERA in 15 starts across two levels.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Texas Rangers: What Twitter Is Saying as Spring Training Approaches

Spring training is just a couple of weeks away, and the Texas Rangers have two guys who are creating a lot of buzz.

Ironically, one player just won a Super Bowl, and the other pitched against the club last year.

Per MLB.com, Tommy Hanson and the Rangers agreed to a deal worth $2 million on Monday. He will be at spring training and has a good chance of making the starting rotation. He pitched for the Angels last season, starting 13 games and posting a 5.42 ERA.

As for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, there still isn’t a definitive answer. It isn’t as if he is going to trade rubber spikes for metal ones, but he has gotten support from Texas fans to show up. 

Jeff Wilson explained the QB has the support from his newest agent:

Then fans got the news they had been waiting for:

Although he is showing up, it doesn’t look like he will be taking the field or making any plate appearances:

The High-A affiliate of the Rangers doesn’t want to take no for an answer. The team is willing to donate to a charity of Wilson’s choice in exchange for nine innings:

It was originally reported that Tommy Hanson had signed a minor league deal with the club. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman cleared it all up on Tuesday:

Some fans were not too pleased with the team’s newest acquisition:

The Rangers now have a legitimate starter to fill the void left by Derek Holland’s knee surgery. Hanson’s ERA has dipped every year since his rookie season in 2009. That could be the epicenter of the disgust shown by the Rangers faithful.

But he isn’t going to be expensive. He could end up being a steal this offseason.

Wilson won’t be donning a Rangers uniform during the 2014 regular season, but the club can still benefit from his presence in Surprise, Ariz. Not because he just won the Super Bowl but because he has leadership qualities. He is also going to provide plenty of traffic at any complex he shows up to in March.

It would be fun to see what Wilson could do after a few years off the diamond.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Los Angeles Angels: How Risky Are Recent Pitching Moves?

The Los Angeles Angels are banking on a pair of risky recent pitching moves to improve their beleaguered pitching staff.

On Friday, the team traded reliever Jordan Walden for Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson; and acquired free agent Ryan Madson, signed this past Wednesday to a one-year, $3.5 million deal loaded with incentives (h/t AP writer Greg Beacham).

Hanson, 26, was once a top-tier prospect for the Braves, possessing a well above-average fastball and curveball with decent command. In four seasons with the club he totaled 592 strikeouts to only 219 walks while averaging an ERA of 3.61.

But his numbers dropped in 2012, along with his velocity, and possible injuries to his back and shoulder caused concern for his future, according to CBS Sports’ C. Trent Rosecrans.

In 2012, still with the benefit of the pitcher-friendly Turner Field, Hanson posted his worst ERA (4.48) and allowed 27 home runs in 174.2 innings. His control wasn’t the same. His breaking pitches didn’t have the sharp drop like seasons past—spinning like the pinwheel on a frozen MacBook instead.

Because of his reported issues, Hanson found himself placed in unfamiliar territory: trade bait. 

The Angels, possibly foreshadowing the non-signing of Zack Greinke, quickly pounced on the right-hander, certainly understanding that Hanson’s price tag won’t be overly expensive.  

If he does work out for the Angels, filling in as a solid No. 3 starter, then it can be the youthful answer for the rotation, replacing arms like Trevor Bell that didn’t work out in past years. But it’s still a risky gamble, regardless if losing Walden is not.


Then there is the case of Ryan Madson.  

Madson, who is coming off ligament-replacement surgery (Tommy John surgery) is also an unknown factor.

The doctor that did the procedure, Dr. Lewis Yocum, reigns as the Angels’ team physician so the organization has first-hand knowledge of Madson‘s recovery, according to Tim Heany of KFFL.com.

But remember this: Yocum is a doctor, not a fortuneteller.

Although Madson is well ahead of schedule in his recovery, according to Beacham’s article, a pitcher’s arm and the subsequent performance won’t be known until the bats start swinging in March—perhaps even into the summer months

Until then, while there is hope Madson will be in the closer role and complimenting Ernesto Frieri towards the end of games, all Angels’ fans have to go on is Madson‘s excitement to be in Southern California. GM Jerry Dipoto resonated that scenario saying this:

He’s very enthusiastic, and clearly loved the idea of playing for the Angels, which isn’t something you can take for granted. Somebody getting to do something they’ve wanted to do for their whole lives creates a very romantic edge to it.

Take that, Zack Greinke? Perhaps the Angels want you to want them…like the Cheap Trick song.  

Regardless, both moves can help the Angels’ pitching staff. However, players labeled with the injury bug and velocity/control problems, like Hanson and Madson, always make for a risky situation.

It can also leave the organization and GM Jerry Dipoto in trouble if it doesn’t work.  

After all, the Angels already passed on two of their past pitchers, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren, because of control and injury issues. And the news of Zack Greinke‘s whereabouts may not be enough to hide that come opening day. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Atlanta Braves Postseason Rotation: The Case Against Tommy Hanson

What I am about to write may not be very popular. In fact, I’m sure it won’t be.

Six weeks ago, I wouldn’t have believed I would be advocating this. It’s a reality that has been tough to come to grips with, but it’s a reality that the Braves must face so they can move forward.

There is absolutely no way Tommy Hanson can be allowed to be a part of the postseason starting rotation.

When Hanson came up as a rookie, it seemed that the sky was the limit for him—he possessed a strong fastball, a killer slider and a promising curveball that projected him as a definite No. 2 starter with a ceiling of staff ace.

The naked truth though is that the Tommy Hanson of 2012 is simply not the same Tommy Hanson that was heralded as the next Atlanta Braves ace. Injuries and mechanics have ravaged his right arm, his potential and perhaps his future.

Can he ever become the pitcher he was supposed to be? I hope so, but everything is trending down for Hanson. He has lost a lot of velocity—three miles an hour on his fastball and curveball, two miles an hour on his change-up and four miles an hour on his slider.

The spin on his slider is loose, his command is lacking and the advanced metrics doesn’t help him out any—his 4.65 FIP and 1.44 WHIP suggest that he is pitching worse than his 4.46 ERA lets on. 

Unfortunately, my disposition towards Tommy Hanson’s abilities has decayed to the point that I no longer expect anything but misfortune when he takes the hill. And on September 21, I reached my breaking point.

I watched Hanson employ his weakened fastball, loosened slider and spotty command against the Philadelphia Phillies and I found myself cringing every time he threw a pitch over the heart of the plate. Through just five-and-a-third innings, Hanson gave up three walks, four hits, three home runs and five earned runs. 

I wish I could tell you of my sunny disposition towards Hanson’s future starts, especially those in the postseason, but from where I stand, I just don’t see it. I don’t believe you need velocity to succeed; Jered Weaver, Tim Hudson and even Kris Medlen have shown us this much. However, they have two things that Hanson doesn’t, great command and an out pitch—Weaver has a great slider, Hudson uses a series of sinking fastballs and Medlen possesses a devastating change-up.

Could it be that the once “Golden Boy” of the pitching staff would be detrimental to the Braves World Series hopes if employed as a starter? Considering the fact that Hanson is the worst-performing 2012 Braves starter, it very well could be.

Take this into account: due to increased rest in the playoffs, postseason rotations typically consist of four men. Assuming Atlanta rolls with its best four starters, who would toe the October rubber?

Tim Hudson and Kris Medlen are absolute locks, there is no argument here.

Since July 5, Mike Minor has pitched 81.1 innings and allowed 58 hits and just 17 walks to pair with his 2.32 ERA and .203 opponent average. He’s not only been on a tear, he’s turned a major corner. He’s in if the Braves have any sense.

Paul Maholm has had two hiccups in September, but even with those 13 runs in 6.1 innings, he’s pitched to the tune of a 3.39 ERA since April 21. He bounced back against Miami on September 18 though, pitching nearly seven innings of four-hit, one-walk ball. He makes for a very nice back-end starter.

Not only does Tommy Hanson not hold any water in the comparisons against the other men in the Braves rotation, he also wouldn’t be able to stand up to comparisons with a healthy Ben Sheets. If Sheets is back and ready to go for the playoffs, he could conceivably start if needed to—his experience and veteran guile would be more valuable than Hanson’s propensity to get hit hard.

I’m not a pessimist. I hope Tommy Hanson can get back to where he was in 2010.

But there’s no way I’m starting him in the postseason.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Atlanta Braves Win a Tight One over Diamondbacks with Their Pitching

The Atlanta Braves won a close game in Arizona on Saturday, beating the Diamondbacks 3-2 to hand the D-backs their fifth straight loss. Tommy Hanson, the ace of the Braves staff, pitched seven strong innings and allowed just one run en route to picking up his second win of the season.

After pummeling opponents with a devastating offense for the past few weeks, it was nice to see the Braves take a close game and lock it up in the late innings.

The Braves scored one run in each of he first three innings, and Dan Uggla launched his second home run of the season in the third, giving the Braves a 3-2 lead that the held for the remainder of the game.

Tommy Hanson looked sharp in his start. He gave up a run in the first and second inning, but commanded the strike zone and retired the last 12 batters he saw, handing the ball off to Jonny Venters in the eighth. Venters struck out the side, all but marking the tally in the win column for Fredi Gonzalez and Co. 

Craig Kimbrel then came in for the ninth and recorded his fifth save in as many attempts this season. Kimbrel and the rest of the Atlanta bullpen have shown that, if given a lead, they can hold a game and shut down a lineup in their tracks.

Saturday’s win was reassuring for Braves fans. Atlanta’s offense had been blowing opponents out of the water, and no pressure was put on the pitching staff recently, with the Braves leading the league in runs scored.

Hanson had a great outing after beginning the 2012 season with three rather mediocre starts. The 25-year-old righty bounced back on Saturday and posted a seven-inning, five-hit, two earned run performance that gave the Braves their 10th win in 11 games. 

Fans can take comfort in the fact that Atlanta’s pitchers retired the last 18 Arizona batters in a row. Tommy Hanson had seven strikeouts in as many innings, and Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel each struck out the side in the eighth and ninth, respectively, to lock up the win for the Braves.

The Braves are winning games with both their offense and pitching, putting them in great position in the NL East and the rest of the 2012 season.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2011 Atlanta Braves: Can Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla Lead Braves to Playoffs?

The Atlanta Braves finished the 2010 regular season with a 91-71 record, which was good enough to claim the National League Wild Card. They lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the eventual World Series Champion San Francisco Giants in four games with every game being a one-run affair.

New manager Fredi Gonzalez replaces the legendary Bobby Cox and has a roster that should be in the playoff mix again.

Let’s take a look at player-by-player projections for the 2011 Braves based on the probable Opening Day lineup.

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Fantasy Baseball: 50 Fearless Fantasy Projections for 2011

With fantasy baseball drafts in full swing, here are 50 fearless fantasy predictions to consider for the 2011 season.   

50. Derek Jeter is your number three fantasy shortstop after Hanley and Tulo —Look for a bounce back year aimed at proving he’s still earning his money.

49. Ubaldo Jiminez will undoubtedly be overvalued in your league—Remember his 2nd half?

48. Mike Stanton will finish in the top five in the NL in home runs—He’s also not going to win any batting titles.

47. Aroldis Chapman is this year’s Neftali Feliz—There’s no questioning the ability, it’s all about control and opportunity.

46. Billy Butler is really Mike Sweeney—The power just isn’t coming.

45. Roy Oswalt finishes with the best numbers of any Phillies starter—Call it a hunch.

44. Alex Rodriguez continues to regress—We aren’t going to see .300 with 35+ home runs from him again.

43. Matt Kemp finishes with better numbers than CarGo—We’ve seen the worst of the former and the best of the latter.

42. Cameron Maybin steals more than 30 bases and is fantasy relevant—He’s got the tools and he’s still just 24 years old.

41. Josh Johnson is not worth the risk-Back AND shoulder problems, no thanks.

40. Wandy Rodriguez will be overvalued during your draft—He is what he is.

39. Max Scherzer will be undervalued during your draft—Look at his second half stats.

38. Aaron Hill has a bounce back year—If I’m wrong, so is everyone else.

37. Delmon Young’s home run total rises again this year—Look at last season’s doubles.  Despite four full major league seasons, he’s still only 25.

36. Jonathan Papelbon doesn’t finish the season the season as Boston’s closer—For the record, I also don’t think its Bobby Jenks.

35. Someone in your draft will reach for B.J. Upton—You don’t want to be that owner.

34. John Lackey will be significantly better than last season—He’s being undervalued by everyone.

33. Drew Stubbs will not be significantly different than Chris Young—It’s all about eating the batting average.

32. There won’t be much difference between Elvis Andrus and Starlin Castro—You’ll pay a lot less for Castro.

31. Someone will take a chance on Brian Roberts and his back—It shouldn’t be you.

30. Rafael Soriano saves double digit games—Hard to believe Mariano Rivera continues to be superhuman.

29. Francisco Liriano improves again this year—If he’s 85 percent of his 2006 self three years removed from Tommy John surgery he’s a steal on draft day.

28. Howie Kendrick becomes the player we’ve all projected he would be—Only because we’ve mostly all given up at this point.

27. Shortstop is so shallow that if Rafael Furcal gets 500 at bats he could challenge for top five at the position—That’s also a pretty big “if”.

26. Tsuyoshi Nishioka could hit .300, steal 25-30 bases and score 100 runs—He’ll be a cheaper source of steals than Chone Figgins.

25. Craig Kimbrel is this year’s Carlos Marmol—You can’t help but love the Ks.

24. Enough owners are hesitating on Miguel Cabrera that he’s falling in drafts—Until he takes to twitter and starts using the hashtag #winning, I’m not willing to be one of those owners.

23. Over three seasons in Texas, Josh Hamilton has averaged 126 games—I’ll take the under.

22. Josh Hamilton will still play more games for the Rangers than Nelson Cruz-Cruz is a highly productive player, but dealing with his day-to-day status and DL stints is just too frustrating.

21. Shin-Soo Choo may be as predictably safe a five category outfielder as there is—He lacks upside, but barring injury, .300-85-20-85-20 seems virtually guaranteed.

20. Hunter Pence may be the second most predictable outfielder—Three straight seasons of exactly 25 home runs, seriously?  He’s also never driven in 100 runs.

19. Carlos Lee’s numbers will continue to trend downward—He’s not a player you should be willing to own anymore.

18. Josh Beckett rebounds to win 15 or better this season—He’ll give up runs, but the WHIP remains strong and he can still strike hitters out; plus, the Sox revamped offense will keep him in more games.

17. I expect Angel Pagan to be at least as valuable as last season-Beyond David Wright is there anyone in the Mets lineup to fear?  They will need to manufacture runs.

16. Andre Ethier rebounds to finish around his 2009 numbers—You can probably apply that same logic to most of the Dodgers hitters.  Last season was just odd.

15. Justin Upton stays healthy and gets to 30-30 without being a batting average liability—The same can’t be said for his brother.

14. Check out the even number year/odd number year split for Prince Fielder’s career—There’s no logic to it, but it is 2011.  I’m just saying.

13. Vladimir Guerrero is the best late round chance out there for 30 home runs and 100 RBIs—He’ll hit ten of those home runs on balls no one else would even swing at.

12. Despite the Daniel Hudson hype, I think Madison Bumgarner is a much better value—We’ve even seen him do it in the post-season.

11. I don’t think we see 100 games out of Justin Morneau this season—I would love to see him come back and return to prior form but all the failed return attempts from last year give me pause.

10. Jimmy Rollins is no longer a top ten shortstop—The average has declined each of the last three years and the wear and tear is starting to show.  Health will be a concern again.

9. Alex Rios is in for a big year—Expect the steals to fall off some, but the average and power will improve as he likely sees better pitches hitting third in front of Konerko and Dunn.

8. Kevin Youkilis has more value than is being projected—Remember he’ll be playing third base with Adrian Gonzalez now in Boston, and that’s a fairly shallow position.

7. Brandon Morrow is the most underrated starter in the American League going into the season—Pitching in the AL East is brutal, but he handled it well last year and has 200+ K ability.

6. Tommy Hanson disappoints anyone calling him a fantasy ace—This is purely another gut call.

5. In the battle of the “outfielders Ja(y)son”, Werth easily bests Heyward—This is purely a 2011 prediction.

4. Colby Rasmus disappoints the fantasy baseball world—It won’t be his fault and owners are going to curse Tony LaRussa when he winds up in a platoon situation.

3. Adam Dunn will hit 45 or more home runs—It’s been a long time since he’s seen the kind of lineup protection he’ll enjoy in Chicago.

2. Francisco Rodriguez doesn’t save 30 games—Not the pitcher he once was, and with the off-the-field issues and a club that could finish last in NL East, I just can’t see him keeping it together all season. 

1. Andrew McCutchen is the young hitter most worth reaching for—He’s truly a five tool player and a .300 season with 20 home runs and 40 stolen bases is a definite possibility.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Atlanta Braves 2011: Let’s Go for a Sky Copter Sky Plane Traffic Report

For a sky copter sky plane traffic report on the outlook for the 2011 Bravos, let’s go to Captain Herb Emory.

How’s the season looking Captain Herb?

Captain Herb – Well, it looks like the Braves will be in contention for a NL Pennant in 2011. I like the addition of Uggla and no glaring losses. Freddie Gonzalez is a solid skipper who will take over for the great Bobby Cox. I wish we had one more lefties in the starting rotation for those series against the lefty dominated lineup of the Phillies. The Phillies will be tough to beat with that starting rotation.

Speaking of rotation, when was the last time you had your tires rotated? Go to Big 10 Tires to get them rotated today. How is the outfield looking Kim McCarthy?

Kim McCarthy – Well Captain Herb, the Braves outfield in 2011 has potential to be very good, but with question marks. Look for the J-Hey kid to have an All-Star year in right field. Also, look for McClouth to bounce back and have a solid year in center. Prado gets a look in left after a break out year in 2010 and Jordan Schafer adds flexibility.

Speaking of flexibility, Auto Zone has flexible hours to meet all of your automotive needs, visit your local Auto Zone today. How about that infield this year Mark Arum?

Mark Arum – Thanks Kim. The infield for the Braves has question marks this year. Uggla is a big addition that will bring much needed power to the lineup. Freddy Freeman takes over at first and has a lot of potential, but will have his ups and downs in his rookie season. Gonzalez is solid at shortstop and McCann is an All-Star catcher and may be the best in the game. Big question at third is how long until Chipper pulls a hammy or a groin? 

Speaking of hammy, be sure to visit Subway today for one of their delicious foot long ham sandwiches. Now for the pitching, let’s go to Doug “Fireball” Turnbull.

Doug “Fireball” Turnbull – Uh-oh, we now have a code red in the bullpen. Billy Wagner is retired and it looks like the Braves are counting on Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters as closers. Your backup route is to go with veterans Scott Linebrink and George Sherrill. 

The starting rotation has the potential to be one of the best. Huddy, D-Lowe, JJ and Tommy Hanson are solid but all righties. I would like to see Mike Minor have a break out year and become that much needed lefty in the starting rotation, especially in those head to head series with the Philadelphia. 

Speaking of Philadelphia, what a great movie starring Tom Hanks. Be sure to visit a Red Box movie rental and pick up a copy of Philadelphia or another great movie today. Back to you Captain Herb.

Captain Herb – That is a look at your sky copter sky plane view of the 2011 Atlanta Braves. Stay tuned for more and see what Kirk Mellish has for the Braves outlook on his Mellish Meter!

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Atlanta Braves Spring Training: 10 Keys To an NL East Crown In 2011

With the Atlanta Braves’ first spring game right around the corner, the powerhouse Philadelphia Phillies are the favorites to win the National League East in 2011, but all of that can change in the blink of an eye if a few players can step it up in spring training.

Here are the 10 keys to success for the Atlanta Braves in 2011.

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