Craig Hansen sighting and a former 110 OPS+er heads to McCoy
July 26th, 2007 by czar

Don’t look now, but (SSS alert) Craig Hansen’s last 7.1 innings in AAA Pawtucket? 8 hits, 1 ER, and a 12-1 K-BB rate.

Even more promising are some of the reports in the Globe’s minor league notebook:

One of the notable signs of the return of Craig Hansen’s slider came Sunday night. At Syracuse, Hansen pitched 2 1/3 innings to get his third save of the season for Pawtucket , allowing three hits and one walk, and striking out four. On two of those strikeouts, the change became apparent. Hansen threw sliders on 3-and-2 counts for strikeouts.

“I would say it’s back,” Hansen said earlier this week. “Very close to 100 percent, if it’s not there yet. There’s still some minor adjustments to make it more consistent, the way I want it.

“Not for a long time [has the pitch been at that level]. Very long time. Too long. Not while I was playing pro ball.”

That last statement sums it up. Hansen thinks his slider is back and those around him are seeing improvement.

“That’s what [Hansen's] saying and I’m seeing it,” Pawtucket pitching coach Mike Griffin said.

“I’m seeing the better tilt down and the better hard bite down now than during the beginning of the year. When I say consistency, I’m seeing some first-pitch strikes with some sliders, I’m seeing a lot more swings and misses with his slider right now. Not only to righthanded hitters, but also to lefthanded hitters.”

Of note is the minor league signing of OF Brady Clark, who will report to Pawtucket for the time being. Not a bad deal– pretty good plate discipline at the dish, a bit below average defensively in CF, but about average at the corners (maybe even a hair above in right field). The one question this begs is– does this spell the end of either the WMP or Hinske era in Boston? Trade rumors have been swirling regarding Pena, but he went 4-5 with 9 TB tonight after getting the start in RF over Drew.

Posted in In the news, Observations

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