Mike Hampton Update
With the Braves almost having to trade for a Starting Pitcher, everyone forgets about the oft-injured (and rightfully so) $15 million a year man Mike Hampton. Will Atlanta be able to count on him in ’08? Here’s what he is up to.
Mike Hampton was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2002 and Braves’ pitching coach Leo Mazzone set about trying to get Hampton’s career back on track after the Coors Field mess. Hampton won 14 games and lowered his ERA to 3.84 in 2003. He overcame a slow start in 2004 by winning 10 of his last 11 decisions and helping to propel the Braves to another division championship.
Since August of 2005, Mike Hampton has not thrown a meaningful pitch in a game situation.
Just when it appeared he was about to return to the form for which the club indebted itself, Hampton injured himself again during spring training at about the time he was scheduled to move into action, the matter of a muscle tearing loose from a bone in his arm. Fellow Braves’ starter experienced a similar injury and returned strong, giving hope to Hampton’s recovery.
Hampton has gone through rehab for the umpteenth time and reports indicate he is doing things the right way. He has been pacing himself and pitching from a mound and this time he will be skipping winter ball. He expects to be fully ready for Spring Training and the Braves are counting on him for 12-15 wins. In my opinion, it is not likely. Look for Hampton to rejoin the DL mid-April.