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Hanrahan Falls Prey to Red Sox Closer Curse, Placed on 60-Day DL

Joel Hanrahan was placed on the 60-day DL, becoming the latest victim of the Curse of the Red Sox Closer. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports)

Tabbed as the closer for the Boston Red Sox before the 2013 season, Joel Hanrahan was moved to the 60-day disabled list on Thursday, just two days after the Red Sox placed him on the 15-day DL.

What originally was deemed a muscle strain in his right forearm quickly became much more serious after an MRI. The MRI results were alarming enough to prompt Hanrahan to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Andrews on Friday, never a good sign for a pitcher. The Red Sox would not rule out damage to Hanrahan’s ulnar cruciate ligament, meaning Tommy John surgery is still a possibility.

The move opened up space on the 40-man roster to bring up Jose De La Torre from Pawtucket. Allen Webster was sent back to the minors after getting shelled by the Minnesota Twins (1.2 IP, 8 ER) in his second start of the season.

Hanrahan’s trip to the DL marks another addition to a growing list of mishaps to happen to Red Sox closers in recent years, one that is starting to border on ridiculous.

Eric Gagne was a bust after coming over from the Texas Rangers in a midseason 2007 trade, posting a 6.75 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP (though I guess that year worked out all right in the end). Bobby Jenks went down in a heap of elbow fragments almost immediately after signing a 2-year deal with the Red Sox in 2011. Daniel Bard attempted to convert to a starting role, fails, and is now languishing in AA with the Portland Sea Dogs. Andrew Bailey arrived in Boston to replace the departed Jonathan Papelbon, and injured his thumb in a spring training tumble covering first base. He didn’t make an appearance until 2012 was already a long lost season, and now he’s on the DL again with a sore right bicep. Mark Melancon, the heir to Bailey after recording over 20 saves with the Houston Astros the year before, flamed out in spectacular fashion, epitomized by his 0.0 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 3 HR, 2 BB performance on April 17, 2012. I believe the name Alfredo Aceves speaks for itself.

Still don’t believe in the Curse of the Red Sox Closer? The Red Sox shipped Melancon to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Hanrahan this offseason, and now he happens to lead the majors in holds, having given up only one run in 18 innings. Hanrahan, meanwhile, sports a 9.82 ERA with two blown saves, allowing almost as many home runs (4) as he has strikeouts (5). He will now miss at least two months with his second trip to the DL this season, with the open possibility of Tommy John surgery.

With Bailey likely not ready to return when he is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, the Red Sox will turn to Junichi Tazawa to fulfill closing duties in the meantime. Let’s hope he at least avoids the Curse of the Red Sox Closer for a couple weeks…until we can get Nancy Drew (or maybe his brother Stephen!) on the case, anyway.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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