Former Hatton standout Donovan Hand is back in spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers for the 2014 season.
After graduating from Hatton, Hand pitched collegiately at Jacksonville State University and was drafted by Milwaukee in the 14th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Hand spent nearly six years in the minors before being called up to the bigs in 2013.
Hand made eight relief appearances for the Brewers before getting his first start. On June 22nd, Hand made his first start against the Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee’s Miller Park. He pitched 4 2/3 shutout innings before running into some control problems.
In all, Hand pitched in 31 games for the Brewers in 2013, finishing the season with a 1-6 record and a respectable 3.69 ERA. He allowed 71 hits in 68 1/3 innings, striking out 37 while walking 21. He allowed 10 homers.
In a recent interview with MLB.com, Hand noted that control issues plagued part of his stint with the Brewers.
“The slow curveball was kind of my pitch last year. I [learned] to use the [curveball] as a strikeout pitch,” Hand said. “My thing is to miss in good places, miss out of the zone. When I missed, I missed in the middle of the plate.”
Hand was designated for assignment in February to make room for newly-acquired reliever Francisco Rodriguez and was optioned outright to Triple-A Nashville after clearing waivers.
Hand still received a non-roster invitation to spring training, where he will compete with other pitchers for a spot in the Brewers bullpen.
Hand has received the nod in four Spring Training games to date, tallying a 1-0 record and a 3.60 ERA.