morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here...
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump. With Daniel Bard being sent back down to Double-A Portland, Joel Hanrahan is set to be activated prior to tonight's game in Toronto. However, the question remains: should Andrew Bailey be removed and Hanrahan inserted back into the closer's role?
Hanrahan, who made two rehab appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket,
is expected to be activated from the DL on Tuesday for the start of a
three-game series in Toronto. Right-hander Daniel Bard has been optioned back to Double-A Portland, opening a roster spot for Hanrahan. In
his two outings, Friday and Sunday, Hanrahan went a combined two
innings, giving up two runs on two hits, with a home run, one walk, and
one strikeout. On Sunday, he threw a scoreless inning in the Paw Sox
loss to Columbus, with one walk on 17 pitches, eight strikes. Farrell has not said if Hanrahan would reclaim the closer role or if it is Bailey’s. The pitchers say they don’t know, either. “They haven’t really talked to me yet. So we’ll see,” Bailey said. “Hopefully we get him back soon.
“I think the organization knows what I want to
do and they know what he wants to do. Everybody wants to close. The
decision’s up to them. And it’s just nice, to kind of feel like the guy
they traded for again and be healthy out there. But that being said, I
think we got 25 guys on the same page and we all want to get to the
playoffs and go to the World Series. That’s the ultimate goal."
CSNNE.com: Door still open for decision on Red Sox closer
There's really two sides to this debate. For one, a player should never lose his position due to an injury. In this case, Hanrahan seemingly struggled due to his injured hamstring affecting his pitching mechanics. Therefore, he should be given another shot to prevail at his original role as closer.
The other alternative is to ride out your hot hand, which has been Andrew Bailey. He looks a thousand times better than last season and really has electric stuff and command closing out games. If it ain't broken, don't fix it...right?
Here's how I see it playing out: Hanrahan will be given another shot. I lean more towards riding the hot hand in Bailey, but I agree with the notion that no player should ever lose his job to injury.
However, Hanrahan has to ultimately prove that the injury was the reason for his poor performance and blown saves. I also think you'll see Farrell at times carefully play the matchup game switching between Hanrahan and Bailey. That could be a dangerous situation playing with their roles, but I think Farrell is one of the few that could effective manage that.
Rest of the links: Globe: Coaching staff deserves credit for Red Sox’ hot start | Herald: John Farrell, Juan Nieves bring out best in co-aces | Herald: Shane in pain | CSNNE.com Middlebrooks hopes his sophomore slump is over | Projo: Like Daniel Bard, Ryan Rowland-Smith looking for answers