CLEVELAND -- Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan had hinted Monday afternoon that this might be coming, that a trip to the disabled list could not be avoided.
“It’s a possibility, if I go out there and try to throw,’’ he said. “The last two days all I’ve done is treatment. It’s kind of a wait-and-see deal.’’
The waiting ended Tuesday, when the Sox placed Hanrahan on the disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with what the team is calling a strained right hamstring. He will be eligible to come off for Boston’s game in Toronto on April 30.
“He needs five to seven days to have the hamstring discomfort subside,’’ manager John Farrell said Tuesday. “We look for him to start a throwing program at that point. That’s where we’re at.’’
To take Hanrahan's place on the roster, the Red Sox called up knuckleballer Steven Wright from Pawtucket. Wright had been in the starting rotation for the PawSox, holding opposing hitters to a .167 average (6-for-36) in three starts, but he’ll be used as a long man out of the pen by the Sox.
Andrew Bailey, who gave up the game-tying run in the ninth on Monday, the first time he has been scored upon this season, but was credited with the win when Mike Napoli hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the inning, will continue as closer in the interim.
“Yeah, I’m ready to rock and roll,’’ Bailey said. “It’s what every reliever loves doing, closing. Hopefully we keep playing the way we are. We’re playing good baseball right now and that’s really where the focus is.
“In spring training we said we have a great bullpen, now it’s time to put our money where our mouth is. The way the starters are throwing the baseball is unbelievable. As a bullpen, we've got to keep doing what we’re doing: plugging along, getting outs when we need them.’’
Hanrahan said he first experienced soreness in the hamstring in his second outing of the season, April 3 in New York, when he recorded his first save of 2013. He pitched four more times thereafter, but gave up three ninth-inning home runs over two outings against the Orioles last week, then was yanked after walking the first two batters in the ninth inning Saturday against Tampa Bay.
The day after that appearance, Farrell indicated that the sore hamstring had affected the pitcher’s leg lift and was throwing off his mechanics. The Sox had hoped it would be just a couple of days, but with the hamstring not responding to treatment, the team shut him down.
Hanrahan was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons in Pittsburgh, accumulating 76 saves in that span. But that did not keep at least one Boston-area website and TV station from conducting fan polls asking who Boston’s closer should be. Hanrahan wasn’t surprised.
“They did that before I came, didn’t they?’’ he said. “I’m used to it.
“Every city is like that, believe it or not.’’
Well, Pittsburgh really wasn’t. “When I was first closer there, I ran off like 20 in a row,’’ he said. “They didn’t have a problem there.’’