Turns out, there’s a reason for Boston Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan’s recent struggles.
Hanrahan has been dealing with soreness in his right hamstring since his second appearance of the season in New York, manager John Farrell revealed Sunday. And although Farrell termed the situation “manageable,” he conceded that it has impacted Hanrahan’s mechanics, specifically the drive he has been able to generate with his legs.
As a result, the Red Sox don’t intend to use Hanrahan for the next few days. Farrell said it is premature to determine if Hanrahan will have to go on the disabled list.
Hanrahan said he informed the training staff, but not Farrell or pitching coach Juan Nieves, after tweaking his hamstring during a scoreless ninth inning April 3 at Yankee Stadium. He dealt with the same injury in the same spot last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and missed only a few games. Based on that experience, and with the Red Sox having several days off early in the season, Hanrahan hoped he would be able to pitch through the discomfort.
Ultimately, Hanrahan said the issue has been a distraction, particularly during his last two appearances in which he has allowed two homers and walked four of the past five batters. On Saturday, Hanrahan walked the first two batters of the ninth inning before being lifted by Farrell, who said his knowledge of the hamstring issue contributed to the decision.
“It’s kind of been there every game and just gotten progressively worse,” said Hanrahan, who has allowed four walks and three homers in his last three outings. “You’re not able to repeat your delivery when you’re worried about your hamstring, if it’s going to pull, if it’s going to grab. It’s in the back of your mind. If you’re driving down the street thinking about hitting a car, you’ve got a better chance of hitting a car.”
In Hanrahan’s place, Farrell plans to use former closer Andrew Bailey in the ninth inning. Asked if Hanrahan will retain the closer spot upon his return, Farrell was noncommittal.
“We’ve got to let this settle down first before we get him back to game activity,” Farrell said. “What that game activity is, that’s to be determined.”
• RHP Joel Hanrahan (sore right hamstring) is day-to-day after exiting the April 13 game.
• DH David Ortiz (inflammation in both heels) had difficulty running throughout spring training and was unable to play in a game. The Red Sox remain hopeful that he won’t miss excessive time early in the season, but they won’t rush him back either. He went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. After a stint in extended spring training, he started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on April 11. His game on April 12 was rained out after he went 2-for-3 in his first game April 11. Ortiz continued his rehab assignment on April 13, going 1-for-4 with a two-run single in the opener of a doubleheader against Rochester. He was scratched from Triple-A Pawtucket’s lineup April 14 due to an illness.
• RHP John Lackey (right biceps strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7. Lackey missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Team president Larry Lucchino had announced via Twitter on April 8 that there was no structural damage to Lackey’s arm. Lackey was cleared to resume throwing April 16.
• SS Stephen Drew (concussion) went on the seven-day concussion disabled list retroactive to March 27. He finished a rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on April 8. He was activated April 10.
• LHP Franklin Morales (bulging back disk) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He resumed a throwing program before the end of spring training. He threw 15 pitches in an inning of work during an extended-spring training game in Fort Myers, Fla., on April 9. He was expected to make two more appearances in extended spring before he starts a minor league assignment.
• LHP Craig Breslow (left shoulder soreness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He didn’t pitch in spring training. He will have to build his arm strength before being activated. He threw on flat ground at 120 feet April 9 in Fort Myers, Fla. The team hoped he would be ready to pitch in an extended-spring-training game a few days later.
• OF Ryan Kalish (right shoulder surgery in January 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 20. He has missed most of the past two seasons with shoulder and neck problems.