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Sunday, April 14, 2013
Hanrahan day to day with hammy issue

By Gordon Edes

BOSTON -- Good morning from the Fens, where among our Sunday morning musings is whether former ESPNBoston.com intern Darren Hartwell, the record-setting Williams College wide receiver who ran a 4.4 40 at the Harvard pro day recently, will get a free agent offer from an NFL team.

In the meantime, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior has posted a .367/.410/.388 batting line while playing outfield for the Ephs’ baseball team and has worked PR internships with the Ravens and Patriots. I don’t know what my ESPN Boston colleague Joe McDonald hit during his college baseball career, but I suspect he would tell you Darren could play on his team any day.

But enough on the Ephs.

There were a couple of pertinent pregame updates from manager John Farrell, who said closer Joel Hanrahan, who has a had rough go of it early, is day-to-day because of a sore right hamstring that may be contributing to throwing off his mechanics on the hill.

In the interim, Farrell said, Andrew Bailey will be the closer, and why not? Bailey has been terrific early, allowing just one hit while striking out seven in five appearances (4 1/3 innings). That’s the kind of performance GM Ben Cherington anticipated when he acquired Bailey from Oakland in the Josh Reddick deal, which tilted lopsidedly in Oakland’s favor when Reddick hit 32 home runs last season and Bailey was hurt most of the year and pitched poorly upon his return (7.04 ERA in 19 appearances).

As is often the case, history’s verdict on that deal could undergo some major revisions. It’s already trending that way, with Bailey’s dominant start and Reddick struggling out of the chute (4-for-21, .133).

Farrell said Hanrahan tweaked the hamstring in his second appearance of the season, when he pitched a scoreless inning against the Yankees in New York on April 3. He has been receiving treatment on it the past week but thought he could pitch through it, Farrell said, which appeared to be the case, given that his velocity was in the high-90s.

“It’s a manageable situation,’’ Farrell said, “but it’s clearly had an effect on his ability to repeat his delivery.

“Yesterday, when we spoke about, ‘Is this mechanical?’, clearly the right hamstring soreness is in the back of his mind and looking at some video again this morning, it looks like his right leg has collapsed a little bit in his delivery, it’s caused him to work a little bit more uphill or a little bit more side to side, and not have that same effectiveness.’’

Starter’s gun: Through 10 games last season, Red Sox starters were 2-4 with a 5.37 ERA, and were averaging 7 whiffs per nine and 3.6 walks per nine.

Through 10 games this season, the starters are 4-2 with a league-best 2.35 ERA, and are averaging 9.9 K’s/per nine and an even 3 walks per nine.

Clay Buchholz, who is 2-0 with an 0.64 ERA in his first two starts and has not allowed a run in his last 10 innings, draws the start Sunday afternoon against 25-year-old right-hander Alex Cobb, who went 7 1/3 scoreless innings in his only start this season.

Stingless Rays: The Rays won 90 games last season despite being one of four AL teams to score fewer than 700 runs, and the offense has been even worse so far. They’ve scored just 33 runs in their first 10 games, fewest in the AL, and their .221 team batting average is third lowest in club history after 10 games. The Rays have not hit a home run since Kelly Johnson took Trevor Bauer of the Indians deep on April 6; they have gone 49 innings and 180 at-bats since.

Overall, the Rays have hit just four home runs, none on the road. Seven players have more home runs than the Rays have hit collectively.

Papi preparations: David Ortiz was scheduled to get another four at-bats Sunday for Pawtucket. Farrell said he has not gotten any indication that Ortiz will lobby to join the club in time for its three-game set in Cleveland, but stay tuned.