Hanson throws two pain-free innings

Hanson throws two pain-free innings

Hanson throws two pain-free innings
MIAMI -- Tommy Hanson took another positive step on Monday when he completed two pain-free innings during a simulated game at the Braves' Spring Training complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Hanson told the Braves that he had no problems with his previously ailing right shoulder. After throwing a bullpen session on Wednesday, he will complete three or four innings in an instructional league game on Friday.

If Hanson passes Friday's test and the Braves have already clinched the National League Wild Card spot, he could start against the Phillies in the regular-season finale on Sept. 28. That would put the 25-year-old right-hander on schedule to potentially start Game 3 of the NL Division Series.

Hanson has not pitched in a Major League game since Aug. 6, but his shoulder has been cooperative over the past couple of weeks, and with their rotation beset by injuries and ineffectiveness, the Braves have to at least try to get Hanson ready to pitch in the playoffs.

The Braves have gone through the second half without gaining much value from Hanson or Jair Jurrjens, a pair that stood as two of the NL's top pitchers before the All-Star break.

Though Jurrjens is out for the Division Series and questionable at best for the NL Championship Series, he did gain some encouragement on Monday when he threw off a mound for the first time since his Aug. 30 start. The 25-year-old right-hander felt good while wearing a brace to stabilize his right knee, which has bothered him over the past two months.

"It just let me know that I need to keep working and gain strength," Jurrjens said. "I felt fine. I think that was the hardest I've thrown since Spring Training."