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Hanson set for fresh start with Angels

The SportsXchange

Statistically, Tommy Hanson's career may be going in the wrong direction, but Hanson doesn't believe he needs to prove anything this year.

"I'm confident in my ability to go out and get people out," the Angels right-hander said. "The past is the past. I'm not looking at that. I'm looking forward. I'm on a new team, a really good team. I just want to go out and pitch well and help us win."

One of three new starters in the Angels rotation, Hanson is looking to bounce back from a couple of disappointing second halves in his last two seasons with the Atlanta Braves.

In 2011, Hanson started to feel some shoulder pain after the All-Star break, and he finished with a 8.10 second-half ERA. He had a 2.44 ERA before the break. He said he spent most of the following winter working on getting healthy instead of getting strong, so he ran out of gas in 2012. He had a 5.69 ERA after the break last year, up from 3.71 in the first half.

"I didn't feel I was strong enough and where I needed to be physically to go through the summer and to the end of the season," he said. "I was making good pitches but just making more mistakes than I normally would, and those mistakes were getting crushed."

The Angels, obviously still seeing the upside in a guy who was once one of baseball's top pitching prospects, sent Jordan Walden to the Braves to get Hanson in November.

Although it's too early to tell if the gamble will pay off, Hanson said he's feeling better than he did this time last year, physically and with a tweak he's made to his delivery.

"I feel 100 percent," Hanson said. "I feel like I did two years ago, when everything was coming together. I'm going good, and my body feels good."
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