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.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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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.


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.

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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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?


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

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…

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