Tommy Hanson has been optioned to Class A Myrtle Beach, but it's only a procedural move because the Braves needed to get a fresh arm for the bullpen to get through the weekend.
Hanson, the rookie phenom who's 4-0 with a 2.85 ERA in seven starts, will be brought back to pitch the fifth game after the All-Star break, the first day he would be eligible to return after being optioned.
The Braves brought up Class AAA Gwinnett right-hander Luis Valdez, who was 3-3 with a 3.00 ERA and 16 saves in 37 appearances, and had 47 strikeouts with 14 walks in 48 innings. He arrived in Denver this afternoon.
Since Hanson pitched Thursday night against Colorado, and since he has already used a minor-league option this season, it made the most sense to send him down in order to add another pitcher for the final three games before the break.
Reliever Kris Medlen is scheduled to make a fill-in start in place of Javier Vazquez on Sunday, after Vazquez was scratched because of a lower abdominal strain. Manager Bobby Cox has Vazquez penciled in to start the fourth game after the break, and he believes the veteran will be ready and can avoid a stint on the disabled list.
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