Tag Archives: Tommy Hanson

Texas Rangers 2014 Team Preview

yudarvish

Pinch hitting once again is Mike Hllywa, this time with the 2014 Texas Rangers team preview. You might recognize Mike’s name from his work at Gammons Daily, Halo Hangout, or Off Base Percentage. He’s also been a guest host on The Baseball Show Podcast. You can follow him on twitter here.

Four years ago, the Rangers lost the World Series in five games. Three years ago, they came within one strike of winning the fall classic numerous times, but eventually fell to the Cardinals in seven games. Two years ago, they lost the play-in game. Last year, they lost a play-in game that would have led to the play-in game. Bloggers are meant to be unbiased, but I cannot hide my smile when I see the slow erosion of a division rival.

But erosion is not the same as being not competitive. This is still a dangerous team that is capable of ousting the Oakland Athletics as the incumbent division champions, and with relatively little ease to boot. Just because I smile at their misery, doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize trouble when I see it. Continue reading

2013 Los Angeles Angels Team Preview

I feel like this year’s preview could be copied almost straight from last year with a few name changes.  The Angels went out and signed a big stud hitter for big bucks.  This year – Josh Hamilton, last year – Albert Pujols.  They changed up their pitching staff.  This year – Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas, last year – CJ Wilson.  So what did it get them last year?  Jack shit.  3rd place in a pretty good division – even though they were playing much better towards the end of the season.  One thing they do have this year, that they didn’t last year: a full season of Mike Trout.

Let’s take a closer look at the Angels.

Major Off-Season Moves:

  • Signed Josh Hamilton to a 5 yr/$125M contract.
  • Acquired SP Jason Vargas from the Mariners.
  • Acquired SP Tommy Hanson from the Braves.
  • Signed SP Joe Blanton.
  • Signed RP Ryan Madson.

The Angles certainly weren’t quiet this off season and pulled another sneak attack when they signed Josh hamilton from rival Texas.  It was seemingly likely the Mariners or Rangers for Hamilton and then the Angels swooped it and gave him exactly what he wanted.  When Arte Moreno sees a shiny toy he wants, he steps up big. They also need to reload their rotation after Zach Greinke left and they jettisoned Ervin Santana.  They grabbed 3 new starting pitchers so they at least got some bodies in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now on to who is going to take the field this year.

Continue reading

See Tommy Hanson’s decreased Velocity become part of the Upper Deck

Tommy Hanson, some would say you deserved a better fate.

Here we see frame-by-frame Hanson’s once dazzling 89 MPH fastball hit into the seats in right field at Nationals Park. This was the most impressive of Harper’s five career home runs in my opinion. Watch the speed of the bat head exploding through the zone.

The blast came while opponents were still patting Steve Lombardozzi on the butt for taking his own bite out of Hanson in the way of his first big league home run.

Hanson probably had the last laugh (until he regains some RPM’s on that fastball, this happens all summer long) because the Braves won the game 3-2 and knocked the Nationals from sole possession of first place in the NL East.

Tommy Hanson's fastball is owned and dominated.

 

The Atlanta Braves are going to be alright

The Atlanta Braves sit at 43-33, 10 games over the .500 mark and four games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the coveted first place spot in the NL East.

The Braves enter their three game weekend series in San Diego on the mend. And when these guys get fully healthy they’ve got the opportunity to be a downright scary squad.

They’ve weathered some tough storms in the early part of this season, and have still managed to play 10 games above .500 baseball. They’ve gotten barely anything out of Jason Heyward–who someday should evolve into the biggest prize in all of the game. It might not be this year, but it’s fair to expect that Heyward will perform better for the remainder of the year than he has so far. Another player who falls in that category is Dan Uggla, who has been way worse than his career norms.

If they can just remain reasonably healthy and continue to tread water at the current pace for a few more weeks, they’re going to get back Martin Prado and Tommy Hanson back by the middle of July. That’s when this team will open it’s sales and be running wide awake, we presume. By then, they could be the best all around team in baseball.

This squad is likable for many reasons.

One of those reasons? They’re our MLB: The Show ’11 team of choice (with the addition of Michael Bourn). Johnny Venters, Chipper Jones, Craig Kimbrel, Uggla, Heyward, Prado, Jordan Schaefer, Nate Mclouth, Brian McCann, the list goes on and on. It’s a nice nucleus they’ve compiled to run down those Phillies.

The Braves are going to be right the thick of things until the end of things. Count on it.

Feeling like I’m watching a legend in the making

[Box Score]

[AJC] [Capitol Avenue Club] [Talking Chop]

I have a pretty terrible cold right now. It’s one of those things that just hangs on. No matter how much Vitamin C I pound, no matter how much sleep I get, it’s going to be like four days of misery. Once you get that through your head, a Hell-cold is not so bad.

And if there’s one positive, it also gives me a free pass to lay on the couch and watch baseball for about 6 to 8 hours uninterrupted. So yesterday when I got home, I decided I was going to watch the Braves and Marlins. Hanley Ramirez was returning from injury, it was the first time since the Marlins opener that Hanley and Mike Stanton were both in the starting lineup, and Tommy Hanson was on the bump in Atlanta. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Most of all, I’ve caught a few of Jason Heyward’s at-bats this year; and I was craving more. He’s turning on balls and at least for the time being the concerns about his wrist should be put on the backburner. He’s off to another really great start. This is the best he’s looked since about April of last year. And it could be said that he’s going to be like Ken Griffey Jr. in the fact that he’s definitely a fast-starter. I love a fast starter. There’s nothing better.

If only he was hitting in a better spot in the lineup. Rob Neyer weighs in on it yesterday:

Of course, you know as well as David Schoenfield that it really makes little difference where McLouth and Heyward bat. Granted, McLouth’s will cost the Braves a few runs over the course of the season if he stays in the No. 2 slot all season. Which he won’t. And Heyward might account for two or three more runs if he were batting third or fourth rather than sixth. But the odds against the Braves missing a playoff spot because of Fredi Gonzalez’s batting orders — as opposed to the players he actually uses — are exceptionally long.

Pretty much the way I feel. I just want to see what the guy can do getting an extra at-bat a game and producing in the middle of the lineup. But I guess I should get off my Heyward soap-box now. Officer Mclouth will eventually be pulled out of the 2-spot in favor of young J-Hey and all will be right with baseball in Hotlanta; especially if Tommy Hanson throws anywhere close to what he had last night the rest of the season.

Chipper Jones had a nice game, driving in two runner and is now one RBI shy of the 1,500 mark. Wow, what a career it’s been. The swing still looks beautiful.

Other observations from this game:

-Gabby Sanchez has absolutely nothing. I don’t think he’s going to be much of a player.
-I’m still waiting on Hanley Ramirez to get going.
-Mike Stanton has unreal power. I can’t believe he’s only 21. The guy just has it. How did he last until the 2nd round in the draft?
-Heyward’s rocket home run to dead center was impressive. There just aren’t many guys who hit line drives to that area in Atlanta. In that respect, he reminds me of Griffey a little bit.
-Chris Volstad throws a ton of hittable fastballs. I’ve seen a ton of great arms this year early on where the pitcher was ahead of the hitter in terms of coming out of spring training. Volstad didn’t give that feeling. Brian McCann also touched him up for a nice yard ball into the Braves pen.