(Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Mystery Surrounding Alen Hanson’s Time Off

Alen Hanson has been out for the past five games due to an unknown reason. John Dreker reported that it wasn’t injury related. Today, Cory Giger reported that Hanson was out due to undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

This is not the first time I’ve heard this. Last night I was contacted by an NL scout who was in Altoona, wondering if I had heard about Hanson’s suspension for disciplinary reasons. However, the Pirates are saying that Hanson is only out to work on things. Rob Biertempfel quotes Kyle Stark, who said the shortstop is not suspended.

This wouldn’t be the first time Hanson was out for multiple days to work on things. He did the same thing last year, taking three days off at the start of the season after a horrible start to the year on both offense and defense. However, this absence is much longer.

Giger does bring up a good point in response. Altoona has been very short-handed offensively due to suspensions from a brawl last week. If the Pirates wanted to work on things with Hanson, this is the worst time they could have picked to do that.

Giger also notes that Hanson was removed from the first game of a DH in the middle of the game, and didn’t play in game two, all while the team was short-handed.

To recap, the people in Altoona are under the impression that Hanson is suspended, while the Pirates are denying the suspension and saying that he’s working on things. The work comes at a strange time when Altoona is very short-handed, adding even more mystery to this situation.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • DG Lewis

    If Hanson has not been suspended *by the league*, then Stark could be technically correct (the best kind of correct!) in saying he has “not been suspended”. A decision by Pirates management to not have him play for some number of games as a disciplinary measure is not a de jure “suspension”. And no one seems to have said that the “things” he needs to “work on” have anything to do with baseball – as opposed to maturity, discipline, or rule-following…

  • smurph

    I like it. Better to learn to lessons of reality now rather than after he becomes a major leaguer.

  • Ecbucs

    I agree with DG Lewis, when players are suspended they don’t get paid. It looks like the Bucs are holding him out of line up without technically suspending him. So the question needs to be asked in another way. Has Carlos Garcia or someone else in the organization decided that Hanson can’t play for disciplinary reasons?

  • MIfan

    I remember reading someone in here say that the Altoona team was a bit of a mess, Can’t remember the exact words. I wondered at the time if the brawl was part of that. I know you have to retaliate when someone comes at your head, just wondered if there is a discipline or morale problem down there that might explain some of this

    • emjayinTN

      That was me, and without looking at anything else except the record of the team, when you are 20 games under .500 at mid-season, there is a problem. The Pirates org can worry about how to cure that, but Hanson star, and playing for a team like that is extremely frustrating. I thought he had earned the promotion to AAA with his bat, and on a winning team, surrounded by mature players, it would possibly be more beneficial to Hanson’s defensive and mental approach to the game.

      • emjayinTN

        Wanted to mention that when Polanco was the Pirate Minor League POY in 2012 he batted .325 with 26 doubles, 6 triples, 16 HR’s, 85 RBI’s, 40 SB’s, and .910 OPS, Hanson was the leadoff on the same team and batted .309 with 33 doubles, 13 triples, 16 HR’s, 62 RBI’s, 35 SB’s, and a .909 OPS.

  • bucsws2014

    Maybe it’s simply a continuation of the Pirates tradition of disciplining future second basemen for phantom offenses :-)

  • NSA

    I’m sure he is working on things. Working on not partying late. Working on showing up on time. Working on listening to his manager. Those are a couple things he could be “working on”. Could be something personal that no one in the org wants us to know about. If we never find out I’ll be fine but I do understand fans curiosity. However if they’ve buried it under a rock I hope reporters don’t waste any effort lifting that rock.

  • LetsGoMarauders

    Sounds like Altoona needs to “work on:” better excuses.

  • Scott Kliesen

    I like it the Pirates aren’t airing their dirty laundry in the media. Let the young man work through whatever it is he’s dealing with without being scrutinized by the world.

  • Pie Rat

    Either way it looks like Hanson needs to go at some point in a trade. At this point in his life a few days off with pay isn’t going to change his character. The Pirates can’t afford a bad attitude.

    • smurph

      I disagree rat. It is easier to alter bad behavior patterns than it is to turn average talent into a major leaguer. We don’t know what his trangressions are (if there are any). You don’t throw away major league talent.

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