09/16/11 8:15 PM ET
Braves honor top Minor Leaguers
By Mark Bowman and Chris Cox / MLB.com
Among those present were shortstops Tyler Pastornicky and Andrelton Simmons, along with first baseman Joe Terdoslavich. Eleven other prospects were honored, including players already with the Braves, such as Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado.
Teheran was named the organization's Pitcher of the Year, and Terdoslavich is the Player of the Year.
"I've been here once before when I was in high school. We came up here for a tournament," Terdoslavich said. "Just to see it from the dugout, it looks a lot different. It's a great experience. I'm happy that they do this for the guys that have played well this year. It's awesome."
The switch-hitting Terdoslavich ranked near the top in the Braves' farm system in most offensive categories, and he broke a 65-year-old Carolina League record by recording 52 doubles in his first full season.
Pastornicky, meanwhile, was named Mississippi's Player of the Year. Most of the talk surrounding the 21-year-old has been not if but when he'll get his callup to the Majors.
"I hear it, but you can't even think about that," Pastornicky said. "I'm just trying to get better. When it's my time, it's my time. If not, I've just got to wait. Just trying to get better, and whenever they call my name, I'm going to be ready."
Pastornicky, who is ranked by MLB.com as the Braves' No. 8 prospect, said it's been difficult not to think about when he might receive his callup. He might have gotten it when the rosters expanded had he not injured his ankle and missed the final few weeks of the season with Gwinnett. He played in 27 games for Triple-A after spending most of the year in Mississippi.
"It's tough not to think [about it], especially when you come here," he said. "You can't start thinking about that. You've just got to keep going how you're going, and hopefully one day you get that call, and when you do, hopefully you're ready for it."
Simmons, the Braves' No. 9 prospect as ranked by MLB.com, was named the Lynchburg Hillcats' Player of the Year after being the only hitter in the Carolina League to record a batting average over .300. The .311 hitter and native of Curacao made his first trip to Turner Field as a preteen, when he visited with his little league team.
Simmons, who said that Andruw Jones was his favorite player growing up, was mostly known for his defense prior to his breakout season at the plate.
"I heard the positives and I definitely heard the negatives," Simmons said. "But I always knew I was capable of doing it. Just keep doing what I do until I make my adjustments, and it worked out pretty good."
Fredi holding out hope for Hanson's return
ATLANTA -- Manager Fredi Gonzalez has not allowed himself to even start thinking about the rotation he might use in the playoffs, but he is certainly keeping tabs on Tommy Hanson, who is holding out hope that he can rebuild his arm strength in time to make a start in the National League Division Series.
The 25-year-old Hanson, who has missed the past six weeks because of an ailing right shoulder, will throw a side session at Turner Field on Saturday, and if all goes well, he will likely travel to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to log some innings in an instructional league game. If he passes that test, he might be cleared to start one of the final regular-season games.
"I don't even want to go that far," Gonzalez said. "I just want to take it one hurdle at a time."
Given that Hanson has not pitched in a game since Aug. 6 and did not begin throwing off a mound until Sunday, the Braves certainly understand that he will not be ready for the start of the postseason, but they are at least creating the possibility that he could make a start in the Division Series.
If Hanson is cleared to start the Sept. 25 series finale against the Nationals, he could pitch in an instructional league game five days later and be on schedule to pitch Game 4 of the NLDS on Oct. 5.
"It will be close, that's all I can tell you," Gonzalez said. "You hate to run a guy out there in a playoff atmosphere with just 65 [pitches] or 75 [pitches] in him. So it will be close."
Hanson may be questionable for the Division Series, but Gonzalez has essentially ruled out the possibility of Jair Jurrjens being ready for the first round of the playoffs. Jurrjens will attempt to throw off a mound wearing a brace on his right knee on Monday.
Jurrjens has spent most of the season's second half dealing with the pain created by a bone bruise in the knee. Because he will be at least a week behind Hanson in the rehab process, his availability for the NL Championship Series is also appears to be questionable.
The Braves set an Atlanta record on Monday when they played their 25th extra-inning game of the season. The franchise record is 27, set by the 1943 team.
Freddie Freeman has already set an Atlanta rookie record for hits in a season, and he entered Friday five extra-base hits shy of the Atlanta record Ron Gant set in 1988.
The start of Saturday's game against the Mets has been switched from 7:10 p.m. ET to 4:11 p.m. to accommodate FOX TV.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.