Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/9/12

Thursday's day off allowed manager Fredi Gonzalez to give everyone in the Braves' rotation a extra day of rest, always welcome at this time of year.

It's especially welcome now, as the Braves begin a streak of 20 games in 20 days.

Because of that, there's an outside chance that Gonzalez may go to a six-man rotation for that stretch of games. It depends on right-hander Tommy Hanson, who is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 15.

Hanson hasn't had to use any pain medication for his lower back strain over the last few days, but he's played catch only, not thrown off a mound. He might throw a bullpen session Friday in New York.

Knowing the difference consistent starting pitching makes, and determined not to overuse the bullpen again this season, Gonzalez has been leaning towards giving his rotation an extra day whenever an off day comes up on the schedule.

But during the upcoming 20-day stretch, that obviously won't be possible.

All five or six starters are working with some sort of limitation.

Right-hander Ben Sheets hadn't pitched in two years until recently; right-hander Kris Medlen, a reliever, isn't fully stretched out; right-hander Tim Hudson is hobbled by bone spurs in his left ankle; left-hander Paul Maholm was already getting an extra day of rest with the Cubs; rookie left-hander Mike Minor is in his first full season as a major league starting pitcher and has never pitched this much; and Hanson has been bothered by lower back pain for the last two seasons.

Going to a six-man rotation, leaves the bullpen an arm short, no small consideration. But the possibility is being kicked around.

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