Just a few years ago, the Atlanta Braves had one of the most promising young hurlers in the game in Tommy Hanson. While he is still only 27 and could very well have plenty of prosperous baseball ahead of him, Hanson is now moving on to his third team in the past several months, inking a minor league deal with the White Sox on Monday.
In Hanson’s 2009 rookie season, he took the baseball world by storm. He made 21 starts going 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA and instantly becoming a staple of the Braves’ rotation.
In 2010 he was stretched out to 202.2 innings over 34 starts and did not disappoint. His ERA rose to 3.33 but he saw a drop in his WHIP as he avoided a sophomore slump.
Though he pitched well in 2011, he was nagged by injuries and went on to take a big step back the next year. In 2012 he posted 4.48 ERA and struggled with shoulder and back injuries, so Atlanta decided to pull the plug and shipped him off to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before the 2013 campaign.
He continued to regress in L.A., as the injuries wouldn’t go away and the results on the mound were just not there. They let him walk this past offseason, and we speculated that he’d make sense as a depth guy for the White Sox.
After a rough Spring Training with the Texas Rangers, they too chose to let him walk. He let up ten earned runs in 14 innings.
So now, Hanson will pitch for the White Sox’ minor league system, probably in AA or AAA. If he performs well as pitching coach Don Cooper’s latest project, he’ll compete with Andre Rienzo as the ‘next guy up’ in case of an injury or some Felipe Paulino struggles.
Like we mentioned, he is only 27 and doesn’t turn 28 until late September, so it wouldn’t be smart to write off his major league … but it’d probably be even sillier to fully expect something to come of this signing.