The Red Sox took a risk trading for Joel Hanrahan.
They traded a quality reliever in Mark Melancon, along with several other young players in exchange for the Pirates closer.
At the time, the Red Sox assumed they were getting the Hanrahan of 2011 who saved 40 games and posted an elite 1.83 ERA. That flame-throwing pitcher was one of the best, if not the best, closer in all of baseball.
Suffice it to say, Hanrahan’s Red Sox career hasn’t been pretty so far.
In five innings of work, Hanrahan has allowed six runs, good for an ugly 11.57 ERA. He’s also managed to walk five batters and strike out only four.
After a string of horrible appearances, the Red Sox promptly sent Hanrahan to the DL to recover from apparent hamstring soreness that was causing him to pitch poorly.
While the numbers are ugly, it certainly isn’t difficult to figure out what’s wrong with Boston’s closer. While his fastball still touches the mid-90s regularly and his slider has flashed quality break, his ability to command the baseball has vanished.
Just the fact that he’s walked more batters than he’s struck out is a sign of his lost command. Hanrahan is laboring through innings because he simply doesn’t know where his pitches are going.
This isn’t the guy the Red Sox traded for, and until his command improves, expect to see Andrew Bailey closing games in Boston.