The Atlanta Braves(45-35 as of June 28th) continue to play solid ball overall in 2011 and are about to receive a big shot in the arm- literally and figuratively- with the return RHSP Tommy Hanson(8-4,2.48, 89 strike outs in 83.1 innings) Tuesday(June 28th) at the Seattle Mariners. Hanson experienced inflammation of the rotator cuff in his right throwing shoulder after striking out a career high 14 against the Astros June 12th. He was placed on the DL but built up strength in the joint without discomfort or a rehab assignment. Hanson is 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA in his last 10 starts.
BIG BEACHY: 2nd year RH SP Brandon Beachy has been good all season but lately he has really stepped up. In the month of June, he is 2-0 with 1.50 in 2 starts as well as 20 Ks in 12 innings! When you can get that type of production out of a 5th starter, you will win a ton of games and maybe even a pennant!
ANOTHER ROY?: A season after RF Jason Heyward won the NL rookie of the year, 1B Freddie Freeman appears a leading candidate to win consecutive trophies for the Braves organization . The 21 year old continues to play solid defense and is almost always in the middle of any Atlanta rallies. He is hitting .268 with 9 home runs and 32 rbi in 76 games. When you consider Freeman hit .225 in April, those stats become more impressive. Have some fun when you have a minute and look at how Boston Red Sox star 2B(and future MVP) Dustin Pedroia started out his 1st month in the majors! Patience is often required and needed in this game. The good ones have it.
BRAVES NOTES: Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez has received good medical reports on LF Martin Prado(Staph infection in cut on right calf) and is hopeful he will return before the All Star break(July 10-12th) . Prado has taken some swings of a tee and is now working out with medicine balls. Gonzalez is hopeful that his left fielder will be cleared to run and do more baseball related activities later this week… In move more about giving rookie OF Jordan Schafer a break(and rookie right handed hitter Wilkin Ramirez at bats) , Gonzalez placed Heyward in the lead off spot for the 1st time in his career Monday June 27th . Seattle started LH Erik Bedard and Schafer has batted just .118 vs. South paws in 34 at bats… LH RP Jonny Venters has to draw some serious consideration for the NL All Star team. He has 15 holds and leads NL relievers in innings with 49. His ERA is 1.29((4th among NL firemen) and he has limited batters to a .171 batting average while he tops the NL with a .195 slugging percentage allowed!
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