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Joel Hanrahan Injury: Updates on Closer's Right Hamstring

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Joel Hanrahan Injury: Updates on Closer's Right Hamstring
USA TODAY Sports
Joel Hanrahan will miss a few games with a hamstring issue.

It’s all starting to make sense why Boston Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan has been so erratic and ineffective lately: He’s hurt.

The Boston media talked with manager John Farrell Sunday morning and the skipper revealed that Hanrahan has been dealing with some hamstring issues, which began back in New York, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.

Farrell also noted that although Hanrahan's velocity hasn’t been affected, the soreness has played a role in the right-hander’s delivery.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 15 at 12:15 p.m. ET by Benjamin Klein

After pondering a decision the last few days, the Red Sox have finally come to a conclusion, brought to us by Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe:

Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports that Steven Wright will be promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket.

---End of Update---

Hanrahan has pitched quite poorly the last couple of times he took the mound. Against the Baltimore Orioles on April 10, he allowed five earned runs on three hits in 0.2 innings, blowing the save and taking the loss. On Saturday, he was lifted from the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays after walking two batters. On the season, Harahan has allowed six earned runs and walked five batters through 4.2 innings of work.

I recently questioned whether or not it was too early to pull the plug on Hanrahan as Boston’s closer. Sixty-five percent of readers agreed that Andrew Bailey should handle the ninth-inning duties. Now, as Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports, Bailey will handle any save situations while Hanrahan rests.

J. Meric/Getty Images
Andrew Bailey will handle the ninth inning in Hanrahan's absence.

The situation could get quite interesting, though, if Boston does eventually put Hanrahan on the 15-day DL. As Evan Drellich of MassLive.com tweets, the Red Sox would likely need to take someone off the 40-man roster in order to call up another relief pitcher. At the moment, there aren’t any other relievers on the 40-man roster, just starters.

But the Red Sox could avoid having to designate someone for assignment.

Boston is currently filling the void in the starting rotation created by the injured John Lackey with a reliever: Alfredo Aceves. Instead of having to DFA someone, the Red Sox could call up one of the Triple-A Pawtucket starters, have him start until Lackey returns and send Aceves back to the bullpen. It’s an easy move to make.

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Aside from what could happen going forward, it’s somewhat concerning about what has already happen. Hanrahan said that when he first hurt his hamstring against the Yankees, he told the trainers, but he hoped that he could still pitch with it, according to Lauber. He didn’t tell Farrell or pitching coach Juan Nieves.

But as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe points out, it doesn’t make much sense that Boston allowed Hanrahan to pitch through the pain then, but not now. The trainers should’ve recognized that this issue was going to affect the way he performed on the field and taken action. Why continue to put him on the mound if he’s hurt? He’s obviously struggled, and he’s even cost Boston a win.

Hanrahan suffered a hamstring injury last season, missing five games, and the closer said this issue is similar, according to Abraham. Abraham notes that Hanrahan pitched well after returning in 2012. Boston has to hope that he does so again in 2013.

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