The Principality

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Hanson Gets Nod for Opening Day

The Braves will begin their 2012 campaign in New York, Thursday, with Tommy Hanson opposing Johan Santana.  Both pitchers battled injuries during the 2011 season and missed large parts of it as a result.  With the much-hyped improvements being made elsewhere in the NL East, both clubs will be looking to get off to the best possible start by beating their division rival.

On getting the opening day start, Hanson said that he was ‘honoured’.  "It's definitely a good feeling," Hanson said. "I was excited about it. I'm definitely glad I'm pitching Opening Day. It's an honour."

Hanson battled right shoulder inflammation during the latter portion of 2011 and spent the last two months on the disabled list.  He then suffered a concussion after crashing his car on the way to Spring Training in Florida and missed the first week.  Nonetheless, the 25 year-old had a pain-free Spring and looks in good shape for the season opener.

He will be followed in the rotation by Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy and Randall Delgado, as Tim Hudson recovers from lower back surgery.  Hudson is expected to return to the rotation by the end of April.

Andrew Bracegirdle

April 3rd 2012