Joel Hanrahan’s season is over. His focus is on his rehab, his family and even the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run. Amid it all, the Red Sox are still very close to his heart, though.
“It’s tough watching the games on TV. It’s fun to watch the games, but it’s also tough at the same time,” Hanrahan told WEEI.com. “You miss being around the guys and being around the big league ballparks. I try and watch them. It’s tough not being there, but I’m trying to get this rehab kick-started and go from there.”
Hanrahan’s season ended prematurely because of an arm injury. The two-time All-Star, who was acquired in an offseason trade, made just nine appearances with the Red Sox before suffering the injury that ultimately required Dr. James Andrews to perform three procedures on the right-hander’s throwing arm.
“We didn’t really have a set plan going into it,” Hanrahan told WEEI.com. “The talk beforehand was to fix the flexor tendon and if the UCL looked like it needed to be repaired we would fix it. The flexor was already an eight-month rehab, so if you added the Tommy John it wouldn’t be that much longer. I gave them the go-ahead to do it if it needed to be done. When he went in there he said, ‘Wow, we need to go ahead and fix this.’ There was a bone spur on the backside as well that we took out. He took some ligament from my hamstring and put it in my elbow. So he did the double whammy on me.
“I wasn’t surprised. I had the feeling when he said the flexor tendon protected the UCL, I was ready that they would do both. I was ready for when I woke up that they would have done the Tommy John surgery as well. It was something I was prepared for. In the long run, the best thing for my career was to go ahead and get it done. It wasn’t shocking at all.”
At 31 years old, Hanranhan — an All-Star closer with the Pirates in 2011 and 2012 — probably has some baseball ahead of him. He’s slated to be a free agent after this season, though, and right now, he’s just concerned about getting healthy before making any major decisions regarding his future.
“My wife and I will talk about it a little bit, but at this point it’s way too early to talk about it,” Hanrahan reportedly said of his plans. “My main goal is to try and get the rehab going and get healthy. It’s way too early in the ballgame to start thinking about that. Obviously I have a lot of things left to prove in Boston, so hopefully that could be a possibility. It’s a wait and see.
“It will get to that point we’ll figure out where we’re at without the rehab, and if some team wants to talk about signing me up at the beginning of the year, or maybe they’ll wait until I’m healthy. People are doing different things coming back from Tommy John. We’ll see what the situations are. I haven’t talked to my agent at all. I’m just going to have to see what’s going to happen.”
Hanrahan went 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in 7 1/3 innings this season. Between the inefficiency and the injury, teams probably won’t line up for Hanrahan’s services. It only takes one, though, and whichever team rolls the dice will certainly get a motivated pitcher with a lot to prove.