Hansen is pitching again, Capps traded to the Twins
Some of you guys may have forgotten about Pitcher, Craig Hansen. He was part of the Red Sox, Dodgers deal when we sent Jason Bay and received; him, Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche.
Hansen has been cleared to pitch for the first time since April of 2009 and has been added to the roster at High-A Bradenton. (In 2009, he only pitched five games, 6 1/3 innings)
In 2008, Hansen pitched in 48 games, 2-7, 46.1 IP, 40H, 37R, 32ER, 3HR, 43BB, 32K, 6.22 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.
The 26-year-old right-hander, has had a long, uncertain recovery from an unusual ailment in which a nerve in his upper back lost the ability to send signals to his trapezius muscle. He was nearly set to return in early June, but elbow pain shut him down.
“We felt like it was time to get him out and see what he can do,” director of player development Kyle Stark said.
Hansen made his first start in over a year for the Marauders yesterday. He pitched 1/3 of an inning, giving up one hit, two runs; both earned, three walks, one strike out.
I found an old article that was published in August of 2009 on his recovery.
After about a month and a half of looking for an explanation for a “ghost injury,” as Hansen called it, doctors identified Hansen’s condition as Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, a rare disorder in which a nerve deteriorates and, as a result, the muscle in that area of the body weakens. For Hansen, the nerve affected was in the upper right side of his back and weakened the trapezius muscle, which is a critical muscle in his throwing motion.
The only cure for such an ailment is rest, though Hansen is undergoing nerve tests once a month to continue to look for signs of improvement. Hansen said that in his research he has read that recovery time can range from six months to five years. Medical research has shown that 75 percent of people affected with PTS recover fully in two years.
“It’s frustrating,” said Hansen, who still does not have a timetable for when he can pick up a baseball again. “It’s [about being] mentally tough more than anything. Right now, I’ve just got to keep myself busy and stay in shape so that when the nerve does come back and fully regenerate, I’ll be ready.”
How and exactly when Hansen initially suffered this paralysis of the nerve is still unknown. The best guess is that it was caused by a viral infection — something as seemingly innocuous as a common cold — and happened over the offseason. Hansen said that it was during Spring Training when he first noticed that he had lost significant strength in his pitching arm.
“All of a sudden you just notice that the strength gets significantly weaker,” Hansen said. “It’s been very challenging. It’s too hard for me to sit back and watch and not be given an opportunity to play right now.”
He has ruled out any attempt at trying to come back this season and is at this point looking to a return in 2010.
You can read the rest of the Article on MLB.com
Is this photo real? If so, it is a pretty sweet picture!
I will be keeping an eye on him and will continue to post any updates. If he stays healthy, and can fully recover he can be a pretty great arm for the Pirates. He was Boston’s 2nd pick in the first round (26th overall) in the 2005 draft.
In other news, Ex-Bucco, Matt Capps was traded from the Nationals to the Twins for catching prospect Wilson Ramos and Minor League left-hander Joe Testa.
Capps will take over as the Twins’ closer and Jon Rauch will shift back into a setup role. The Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that he’d already spoken to Rauch about the switch.
“He was very professional about it,” Gardenhire said. “He said, ‘Whatever it takes to win.’ It was the same thing he said to me when I told him he was the closer. He said, ‘Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do.’ He said he just wants to win and be on a winner.”
Capps has been very good this year, recording 26 saves in 30 opportunities and posted a 2.47 ERA in 47 games. He also was selected for his first All-Star game this year.
“This makes us a better club,” Twins general manager Bill Smith said. “Matt is a veteran closer, a veteran reliever and he’s going to be a very good fit for this club. We’ve had an interest in Matt Capps for a long time, and this was a good opportunity for us to acquire him. It gives us a better chance to win the division and hopefully advance to the World Series.”
@JeffFletcherAOL tweeted this last night: Wouldn’t it be funny if Capps, who was winning pitcher for NL in ASG, ended up in the WS for an AL team?
How weird would that be?
In honor of Matt Capper, click here to watch his “Big Bull Rider” entrance music when he was the Closer for the Pirates. Ah, memories.