The Boston Red Sox bullpen has been depleted with injuries throughout the 2013 season, and things are only going to get worse following deflating news about Joel Hanrahan’s status.
According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the Red Sox closer will need season-ending surgery after being diagnosed with a torn flexor muscle in his right forearm:
Flexor muscle torn off the bone, according to Joel Hanrahan. Dr. Andrews will perform season-ending surgery.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) May 11, 2013
Hanrahan will likely undergo the surgery next week, which will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, per Evan Drellich of MassLive.com.
Hanrahan, who is a two-time All-Star, was in his first season with Boston after being acquired this winter in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Expected to shore up the back half of the Red Sox bullpen, the 31-year-old right-hander was off to a dreadful start.
Hanrahan posted a 0-1 record with a 9.81 ERA and 2.18 WHIP in nine appearances. He saved four games, but he blew an additional two chances and was walking just under a batter per inning. After blowing a save against the Minnesota Twins, Hanrahan complained of stiffness in his forearm, and his reign as Red Sox closer was put on hold.
Can the Red Sox win the AL East without Joel Hanrahan?
Though the full extent of Hanrahan's forearm injury wasn't known until Saturday, the prognosis wasn't good from the start. Boston moved him to the 60-day disabled list earlier in the week, a move that usually is a sign of impending doom for pitchers.
Hanrahan is a free agent this offseason, so his time with the Red Sox may finish with those nine poor outings. Setup man Andrew Bailey is also suffering through an injury, so Boston will be hurting for depth in the bullpen going forward.
Despite the injuries, the Red Sox have been one of the American League's biggest surprises. They are 22-14 heading into Saturday's game with the Toronto Blue Jays and are in a three-way tie atop the AL East.
Junichi Tazawa is expected to assume the closer's role and see a majority of the saves going forward.
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