Braves' Hanson wrecks on way to spring training
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson is being checked for a possible concussion after blowing a tire on his way to the first workout of spring training.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez says he got a call from Hanson shortly after 7 a.m. Monday. The right-hander wrecked near the team's Disney World training complex and apparently bumped his head on the steering wheel or windshield.
Hanson had his vehicle towed to a repair shop and showed up in the clubhouse before the start of the workout, with no visible injuries. But the team's medical staff decided to send to a doctor to make sure he didn't sustain a concussion.
If everything checks out OK, Hanson should be back on the field in the next day or two.
Braves' Kimbrel eager to make up for last outing
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Craig Kimbrel had a brilliant debut for Atlanta Braves. Forty-six saves. Unanimous choice for NL Rookie of the Year.
Now, it's time to shake off his final outing.
Kimbrel is the closer for one of baseball's top bullpens, a unit that also includes All-Star Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty, who had an ERA below 1.00 last season. That said, Kimbrel's rookie year was marred by the last day of the season, when he failed to hold a ninth-inning lead against Philadelphia. The Braves wound up losing in the 13th inning, completing a September collapse that cost the team a spot in the postseason.
Kimbrel is eager to move on, which is why he might've been more excited than anyone about Monday's first official workout for pitchers and catchers.
Ex-Brave Linebrink recalls last season's collapse
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - Arriving for the first time at the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training clubhouse, Scott Linebrink plopped down an Atlanta Braves equipment bag in front of his locker stall.
It was a vivid reminder of the front row seat the relief pitcher had during the collapse that helped the Cardinals make their improbable World Series title drive last fall. The Braves were 9-18 in September, and the 35-year-old right-hander took the loss in a 13-inning setback to the Phillies on the final day that gave St. Louis the NL wild card.
Linebrink's description of the downward spiral: A three-week car wreck that slid past in slow motion.
The Cardinals signed Linebrink to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
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