If Medlen keeps impressing, is Hanson the rotation’s odd man out?

I doubt it, but these numbers, via Bowman, are alarming.

Since the start of Spring Training there has been a lot of discussion about the drop in velocity of Tommy Hanson’s fastball.  Courtesy of Fangraphs.com here is the breakdown of this average velocity over the past four seasons:

2009: 92.9 mph

2010: 92.7 mph

2011: 91.1 mph

2012: 89.8 mph

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7 Comments on If Medlen keeps impressing, is Hanson the rotation’s odd man out?

  1. That combined with the fact that he can barely go past the 5th inning most of the time is not very encouraging at all. Using antiquated statistics, I can see that his ERA has risen every season; as well, his average innings per start has decreased every season that he’s been in Atlanta. See below:

    2009 – Record – 11 wins, 4 losses – ERA = 2.89 – Games – 21 / Innings – 127.2 (6.05 innings per start)
    2010 – Record – 10 wins, 11 losses – ERA = 3.33 – Games – 34 / Innings – 202.2 (5.94 innings per start)
    2011 – Record – 11 wins, 7 losses – ERA = 3.60 – Games – 22 / Innings – 130 (5.90 innings per start)
    2012 – Record – 12 wins, 5 losses – EAR = 4.29 – Games – 22 / Innings – 126 (5.72 innings per start)

    Obviously, he could improve this season’s numbers by going deeper into games and by striking out more batters (his K’s/9 are almost 2 lower than last season’s) to help lower his ERA – also, his home run totals have increased every year so that doesn’t help either (maybe due to lower velocity?). But I think most of us would agree that he doesn’t seem capable of that at this point.

    So we now have these starting pitchers:

    Hudson
    Hanson
    Sheets
    Minor
    Delgado
    Jurrjens
    Maholm
    Medlen

    To answer the question of the post then, Hanson could easily be the odd man out. Especially if Sheets keeps pitching well, Minor continues his recent good form, Maholm picks up where he left off in Chicago, and then Medlen or Delgado fills in aptly (which we know they can). Hanson might benefit from a trip down to Gwinnett to work on some issues, where he and Jurrjens could (hopefully) dominate AAA batters.

    Otherwise he could see himself being traded here soon. This all makes me wonder, was he overhyped and is really not as talented as we thought he would be? Or is this more a reflection of poor instruction from McDowell, who maybe hasn’t done a good job of developing Hanson properly? If the latter is the case, then I’d probably start worrying about both Minor and Delgado being exposed to McDowell too much…

  2. Jack Straw // August 4, 2012 at 6:39 pm //

    Now might be the last decent opportunity to unload Hanson. His W-L makes him tradable.

  3. Hanson’s going nowhere until the offseason. Best case scenario is that Hanson has a huge game in the postseason and we’re able to trade him for a big package after the season’s over. It’s so weird that the one season where he’s clearly struggling he’s finally getting wins.

    Honestly, the two pitchers I’d like to see in the Braves’ rotation for the rest of the decade are Beachy and Medlen. Both of them know how to pitch. While I’d love Hanson to step up after Hudson leaves and become an ace, I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

    Holy crap, I just picked Beachy and Medlen over Teheran, Delgado, Minor and Gilmarten. Keith Law’s gonna hunt me down and skin me alive. NO REGRETS

  4. rankin' rob // August 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm //

    A potted plant in the dugout would be as good as Roger McDowell. At the same time, MLB pitchers are dropping like flies with arm injuries. Whether it is an absence of steroids or that athletes have reached the human physical peak of throwing a baseball, truly good pitching is hard to come by. Hanson strikes me as more of a thrower than a pitcher. Let’s hold on to the pitchers, trade the throwers.

  5. His win-loss record this year is reminiscent of Russ Ortiz in 2003; he won 21 games I believe, but had an ERA approaching 5 if I remember correctly. Ortiz had the benefit of playing with one of our most potent offenses we’ve ever fielded; not sure how Hanson is accumulating the wins this time…

  6. roadrunner // August 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm //

    At the All-Star break last year, Hanson and JJ seemed to have matured into aces. I’m amazed at how far they have fallen. I think the Russ Ortiz comparison is apt.

  7. What do you call a pitcher who can’t go deep into games yet strikes out a ton of guys?

    A reliever!

    Why not move Hanson to the ‘pen to better utilize his skills. Don’t call it a demotion. Could have games where Medlen pitches the first six innings and Hanson pitches the final three.

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