Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mike Hampton May Be Atlanta's Secret Weapon

It's been a long time since once heralded lefty SP Mike Hampton's ERA balooned to more than 6.00 in Colorado -- even longer since he posted a 22-4 record with a 2.90 ERA for the Astros seven years ago. But before pronouncing Hampton dead, consider this: in his last 22 starts since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, Hampton is 15-2 with a 2.61 ERA. If we are to believe what the doctors tell us about the procedure, chances exceed 90 percent not only for his full recovery, but the possibility that Hampton will come back to the Braves even better than ever. Hampton is already ahead of schedule, working on his sinker in Florida. Expect Hampton to have a rocky comeback next season, but within a month or two gather himself into his previous identity as one of MLB'S best starting pitchers.

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