I wanted to drop a quick follow-up to my earlier post about Tommy Hanson. In what was a fairly predictable move, the Braves decided to put Hanson on the DL retroactive to the day after his last start (August 6th). As I discussed earlier, right now the news is that Hanson is experiencing tendinitis in his right (throwing) shoulder, which was the same diagnosis that put him on the DL earlier this season. The team had hoped that Hanson would somehow feel good enough to make his start against the Giants on Tuesday, as the next two series against the Giants and the Diamondbacks look like they’ll set the tone for the rest of the wild card race.
With Jair Jurrjens ineligible to come off the DL until August 17th, Fredi Gonzalez had few viable options to pitch Tuesday other than Randal Delgado. Delgado, recently promoted to AAA from AA Mississippi, has thus far been dominant at AA, hurling 13 shutout innings and accumulating 15 strikeouts along the way. Delgado will be pitching on normal rest Tuesday. The popular choice for the start, Julio Teheran, pitched on Friday for AAA Gwinnett and would have thus been pitching on short rest on Tuesday. It was obviously not worth the injury risk, not to mention the added burden that would have put on Teheran, to ask him to undertake the task.
This will be Delgado’s second major league start. You may recall that he started a game in place of Hanson on June 17th against the Rangers. He only lasted four innings, allowing three earned runs and seven hits. He struck out two batters and walked two. In my opinion, his stuff was better than the line-score would indicate. He needs to concentrate on getting ahead in the count, pounding the strike zone and relying on his stuff. According to Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage, that’s exactly what he’s been doing since his promotion. If he brings that attitude to his start against the Giants, he should do just fine. Hopefully the Braves will be able to put some runs on the board in support of the young star-in-the-making.
As a final thought, I truly hope the fans in Atlanta come out in numbers to support the Braves over the next two series. They are a fun team to watch right now. They can score with the long ball or they can make things happen on the base paths with Jose Constanza (Georgie!) and Michael Bourn leading the way. And, though the starting pitching is nicked up a bit right now, they still have the best triumvirate in baseball to close things out with Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters, and Craig Kimbrel. If I still lived there, I’d be out for at least one game in each series, and it would be great if you could be there cheering the guys on too!
That’s my take. Care to share yours?