After missing the final two months of last season with a sore shoulder, Tommy Hanson was hoping for a smooth start to spring training.
Instead, the Atlanta right-hander suffered a concussion when he blew a tire and had an accident on the way to the first workout for pitchers and catchers in Florida.
The 10 days that Hanson missed didn't turn out to be a problem, though. His shoulder is healthy and he will be making his first opening day start for the Braves.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez announced Saturday that Hanson will get the call against the Mets on Thursday in New York, with Jair Jurrjens and Mike Minor following him as the series concludes next weekend.
Gonzalez said that Minor will start ahead of Brandon Beachy because he wants a left-hander to face the Mets. Beachy will pitch in the series opener at Houston on April 9.
Hanson responded to being named the opening day starter by pitching six strong innings in a rain-shortened 2-1 loss to Detroit on Saturday at ESPN's Wide World of Sports. He finished the spring 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA after giving up five hits and the two runs while striking out one and walking one. Of his 80 pitches, 52 were strikes.
The 25-year-old ranked fourth in the National League with a 2.44 ERA at the All-Star break a year ago, but allowed at least five earned runs in three of his next five starts before going on the disabled list. He gave up seven runs to the Mets in 3 innings on Aug. 6 and finished the season with an 11-7 record and 3.60 ERA.
Hanson jumped from Gwinnett to the majors in June of 2009 and has a 32-22 record with a 3.28 ERA in 77 career starts.
Jurrjens, who had his 2011 season shortened by a knee problem, finished the spring 2-2 with a 5.81 ERA after working seven innings and allowing just one run against Houston on Friday night. He will have six days rest after facing the Mets in the second game of the season before starting the home opener against Milwaukee at Turner Field on April 13.
Fifth spot still undecided
Julio Teheran gets his last chance to show he deserves the No. 5 spot in the rotation over fellow rookie Randall Delgado when he starts against Philadelphia today at Champion Stadium.
It will be Teheran's first appearance since he felt some stiffness in his right shoulder after facing St. Louis on March 19.
The Braves will need a fifth starter just three times before Tim Hudson makes his scheduled return from winter back surgery around May 1. The first start for Teheran or Delgado will be April 10 or 11 in Houston.
Neither Teheran, who was 15-3 and International League pitcher of the year with Gwinnett last season, nor Delgado has been that impressive this spring. Teheran is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in four games, while Delgado is 1-4 with a 7.89 ERA in six outings.
Hudson is scheduled to make his first spring appearance Monday in the final Florida exhibition against the Mets.
Tyler Pastornicky may win the Braves' shortstop job by default.
Fellow rookie Andrelton Simmons has a sore oblique and hasn't played since Wednesday, when he was 0-for-4 against the Mets to drop his average to .186 after a strong spring start.
While Simmons has slumped, Pastornicky had shown improvement at the plate after an awful start. He had a four-hit game against the Marlins on March 22, but is still batting just .215 after going 0-for-2 against the Tigers on Saturday.
Simmons, who won the Carolina League batting title a year ago and is a top defensive shortstop, said he could play, but isn't 100 percent. He has been getting daily treatments.
Uggla having a good spring
Dan Uggla drove in the Braves' lone run against Detroit with a double off American League MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and is hitting .305 with six homers and 15 RBIs this spring. He has a .395 on-base percentage and .695 slugging mark.
Martin Prado has the highest spring average among Braves regulars at .348 and he has four doubles, two triples and nine RBIs. Prado will start the season at third base with Chipper Jones on the disabled list.
The best batting average among all Braves players belongs to outfield candidate Luis Durango, who is hitting .481 with 13 hits in 27 at-bats. He also has six walks, giving him an on-base percentage of .576. He is competing with Jose Constanza and Jordan Parraz for a backup spot.