Major League Baseball’s bereavement leave is limited to a maximum of seven days, but sometimes seven days isn’t enough.
That was the case for Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson, who made two starts after the death of his stepbrother in April. The first was in Oakland and Hanson pitched well, allowing one run in six innings. The second was at home against Baltimore on May 4 and it didn’t go so well. Hanson allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings, and the Angels went on to lose 5-4.
“Chris (Iannetta) came out and asked if I felt all right,” Hanson said. “Everyone said I looked like a zombie. I felt like one too. They wanted me to step away, get right and not rush anything.”
So the Angels placed Hanson on the restricted list and allowed him to take his time.
“I couldn’t believe how supportive they were,” he said.
Hanson flew to Georgia to be with his family while he was on the bereavement list, but remained in California in May. The issue was not that Hanson wanted to be away — in fact, he said, “I wanted to be here and help us win.” He watched all the games on TV. He worked out in Aliso Viejo and kept his arm loose.
Rather, Hanson needed to be away.
“I was having mental issues coping with the death of my younger brother,” he said. “Everyone dies, I get that, but I was having a hard time dealing with it.
“I didn’t know how to handle it. That was the first time anything like that happened to me.”
He will return to the mound soon to try to improve his 2-1 record and 3.86 earned-run average. Hanson believes he’s starting Friday against the Houston Astros but wasn’t sure. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said only that “we’ll see where he folds in … a lot will be sorted out in the next day or two, and we’ll evaluate where we are going forward.”
Scioscia said that the outcome of Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers would “probably not” affect the decision, so the team appears to be leaning toward moving Jerome Williams back to the bullpen.
Williams’ turn in the rotation is up Friday. Struggling right-hander Joe Blanton (1-7) starts tonight in Los Angeles and could remain in the rotation.