The Giants have signed right-hander Tommy Hanson to a minor league contract, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). The former Braves and Angels right-hander is a client of the Legacy Agency.
Hanson, now 28, once ranked among baseball’s top pitching prospects and briefly looked the part of a budding ace in Atlanta prior to succumbing to injuries. Hanson finished third in the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year voting, and between the ’09-’10 campaigns, he worked to a stellar 3.16 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate just north of 41 percent.
Shoulder problems began to plague Hanson in the 2011 season, however, and a Spring Training car accident in 2012 also resulted in a concussion. The Braves would ultimately flip Hanson to the Angels in exchange for setup man/closer Jordan Walden after Hanson worked to a 4.48 ERA with significantly diminished velocity in 2012.
The 73 innings that Hanson tossed in an Angels uniform in 2013 were the last he’s thrown in the Majors. Since that time, he’s signed minor league pacts with the Rangers and White Sox but has not surfaced at the Major League level. He may have a chance to do just that with San Francisco, if he can prove healthy, as the Giants have been beset by injuries to this point in the 2015 season.
Matt Cain has spent the entire season on the disabled list to this point, and Jake Peavy has been sidelined as well. The Giants have primarily relied on Madison Bumgarner, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong and Chris Heston in their rotation. Vogelsong, however, has posted just a 5.67 ERA, while Lincecum’s somewhat surprising success has come in spite of an average of 87.5 mph on his heater. The Giants, of course, also have swingman Yusmeiro Petit as a potential rotation reinforcement, should further need arise.