Hanrahan not too concerned about DL stint

Hanrahan not too concerned about DL stint
May 7, 2013, 6:30 pm
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BOSTON –  On Tuesday afternoon, the Red Sox placed their second closer in as many days on the 15-day disabled list. Joel Hanrahan, who left Monday’s game in the ninth inning, underwent an MRI on Tuesday, and was placed on the DL with a right forearm strain.
 
“After the MRI it was clear there was inflammation in the right forearm,” manager John Farrell said. “There's a strain to the right forearm. It's probably going to be a period of time for a shutdown and a recovery for him. That's where Joel's at right now.”
 
Farrell said the team is confident the injury does not involve an elbow ligament.
 
“Everything shows that the structure, the ligament is not involved in this situation,” he said. “That flexor mass, probably at some point where the tendon and the muscle join, that's the area that we're dealing with right now.”
 
With Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey both sidelined – Bailey was placed on the DL Monday with a right biceps strain -- right-hander Junichi Tazawa will take over the closer’s duty. Right-hander Koji Uehara will be used in a set-up role.
 
“Koji's done an excellent job in that seventh, eighth inning for us,” Farrell said. “With the addition of Craig Breslow [who was activated from the DL on Monday,] in that mix, I feel like we've got more options to match in that bridge to Junichi as a closer. And I like the fact that Junichi's got power to his pitch mix. He's been effective against lefties and righties as well. I think the late inning guys do a very good job controlling the run game. So all things considered, Junichi is the choice.”
 
Hanrahan was encouraged by the diagnosis.
 
“Yeah, I was kind of nervous where some of the swelling was at last night,” he said. “I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t nervous about it. They said the ligament was good, so that’s a positive.  I don’t think they said anything about needing needles. So that’s always a positive. So we’ll do some things, take some time, get the inflammation, and the edema, and doctor-talk out of there. Hopefully with a couple days off or a week or two or three, or however long it takes. And hopefully that’ll get it all out of there and come back strong and finish strong.”
 
The Sox have no timetable yet on Hanrahan’s return.
 
“I want to be careful not to put a timeframe out there and then if he's quicker than that or longer than that then it becomes a story in and of itself,” Farrell said. “I think right now, it's confirmed that he's got a strain to the right forearm, so when we say there's going to be a shutdown period we have to go on [that]. I'm sure at some point there'll be a re-examination or a re-MRI of the right forearm but at this point he's at a shutdown period.”
 
Hanrahan was on the DL earlier this season, from April 14–30, missing 15 games with a right hamstring strain. Farrell does not believe Hanrahan’s recent injury is the result of any compensating or change to the right-hander’s mechanics because of the previous injury.
 
“I think the one thing is that he's experienced some of this in the past,” Farrell said. “I don't think there was any compensation. Delivery looked the same. Velocity was consistent with previous outings. On the one pitch, he felt it and unfortunately this is where we're at.”
 
Hanrahan started the 2010 season on the DL with a right elbow flexor muscle. He said the feeling in his elbow now is similar to that of three years ago.
 
“I’d pretty much say it’s the same thing,” he said. “I felt the same before. It’s something that feels a little bit worse. But it’s not the end of the world. I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to throw again and be back this year. So it’s nothing that I’m too concerned about. It’s just something that’s going to take time and rest.”
 
Farrell said Tazawa, who has one career save, in 2012, would likely not be used for more than three outs in a game. The right-hander is looking forward to his new role.
 
“I had always concentrated on the task at hand and that has been my mindset from the beginning,” he said, through team interpreter CJ Matsumoto.
 
He has not talked with Hanrahan, Bailey, or Uehara, who has 14 career saves, about the closer’s role, but has learned from watching, he said.
 
“Basically it’s just pitching in the last innings,” Tazawa said. “So I’m not going to change my style.
 
“There’s nothing that I really feel different about it. Just that it’s my role and any way that I can help the team win games, that’s what my mindset is.”

*****

Jonny  Gomes is in the starting lineup tonight, playing left field. It is just the seventh start he will have made in left this season.

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Left-hander Franklin Morales will make a rehab start Wednesday, going two innings for Double-A Portland. He has been on the DL since the start of the season, first with a low back strain and currently with a pectoral muscle strain. The Sox plan to continue with the original plan of getting him stretched out to be a spot starter, if necessary. But, Farrell said, “that may change over the next 48 hours.”

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Shortstop Jose Iglesias has not played since Saturday, when he was removed from the game. Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina told reporters after  Sunday’s game it was the “manager’s decision,” saying “Iggy’s fine.
 
“Just in the reports from thee Triple-A staff is that they felt it was best that he needed some days to regroup,” Farrell said. “Kind of get back to what it is that's allowed him to be a very good player, experience success. He's dealing with some things.”
 
*****

Stephen Drew has driven in the winning run in each of the Sox last four wins.
         
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With an eighth-inning double Monday night, David Ortiz extended his hitting streak to 13 games and 26 games going back to July 2, 2012.

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Ryan Dempster has recorded 47 strikeouts in his first six starts, the second-most strikeouts through the first six starts of a Sox pitchers career, trailing only Pedro Martinez’s 57 strikeouts in his first six starts in 1998.

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Leon Washington, the running back and kick return specialist who signed with the Patriots in March, was a visitor to the Red Sox clubhouse today.

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