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The Red Sox may be 0-5 so far this year, but it could be worse. They could be Craig Hansen.
A former 2005 first round pick, Hansen never lived up to his potential. He struggled over a few years with the Red Sox, and after he was sent to the Pirates in the Manny Ramirez-Jason Bay deal at the 2008 trade deadline, he really struggled again despite the change of scenery. As a result, the Pirates released the troubled righty on Wednesday.
Hansen was called up to the bigs so0n after he was drafted in 2005, and many thought he was a future closer. He featured an upper-90′s fastball and a hard slider, and had a helluva college career at St. John’s. Instead, he went 3-5 with a 6.15 ERA in 74 games with the Red Sox.
After he was traded to the Pirates in 2008, things did not get much better. Actually, they got worse. Over two seasons in Pittsburgh, Hansen went 1-4 with a 6.95 ERA, compiling 24 walks and 12 strikeouts in 22 innings.
I can’t imagine Hansen ever turning into a capable pitcher in the majors, but if he finds the right situation with the right pitching coach (maybe Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan can do the trick?), he could become a capable middle reliever. If John Halama could pitch in the majors for 9 (!!!) seasons, anything is possible.