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Joel Hanrahan, acquired from the Pirates in the offseason, was announced as the team's closer almost immediately by manager John Farrell. However, the 31-year-old closer has looked terrible so far this spring training.
Hanrahan’s spring transition into life as the Red Sox closer has not been a smooth one thus far.
After four appearances and three innings, he has allowed six earned
runs, four walks and nine hits. That’s not anywhere near the kind of
numbers the Red Sox are expecting from the ex-Pirates closer and it is
certainly not what Hanrahan is expecting from himself.
though he could have said he was distracted by the impending birth of
his first child, Hanrahan did not offer that or any other excuse.
What he does have is experience on his side, and an explanation about how that experience will help turn around his results.
(Pirates manager) Clint Hurdle named me the closer in 2011, people were
calling for my head. I think I went out and I was giving up a couple of
runs every game and having a terrible spring and then that last week to
10 days, it kind of came back to me,” said Hanrahan. “I’ve got to take
it like I’ve got two spring trainings. This one’s been good so far, but
when I come back I’ve got to put my foot down and start getting some
Herald: Oh baby! Joel Hanrahan rocked again
Relieving Clay Buchholz yesterday, Hanrahan walked the first batter he faced and gave up four straight singles. Before he departed, Hanrahan did record a strikeout. But still...yeesh.
The article also did note that Hanrahan's wife is expected to go into labor with their first child in the next few days. Hanrahan denies it's a distraction, but how can it not be?
There's Spring Training for a reason here folks; to work out the kinks, go through some adjustments, and in Hanrahan's case, get adapted with a new team.
Let's say he does struggle throughtout the first half of the season. It's not like Hanrahan was termed "the future closer" for many years to come. Hanrahan was acquired with the intention of a quick fix. If he works out and the team is actually making a playoff run, perfect. If the team is out of the race, then the Sox could simply deal him at the deadline to a contender for a future chip.
I wouldn't worry about Hanrahan right now, expecially during Spring Training.
Rest of the Links- Globe: Now must be Buchholz's time to shine | Herald: Frustrated David Ortiz not sure when he’ll play | Herald: De La Rosa, Webster put value in Sox’ $250M salary dump | ESPNBoston.com: Have faith in Hanrahan