BOSTON -- The news for the Boston Red Sox bullpen went from bad to worse Thursday afternoon, the team moving reliever Joel Hanrahan to the 60-day disabled list, which could be an indication the one-time closer might need surgery on his right arm.
He was put on the shelf Tuesday with a flexor-pronator strain of his throwing forearm and bruising on the inside of his elbow. The concern at the time was that it might also involve damage to the ulnar collateral ligament, which in the worst-case scenario could mean Tommy John surgery. That decision has not been made, but a transfer to the 60-day DL isn’t a good sign.
Before Thursday’s game, manager John Farrell did not say Hanrahan would have surgery but wasn’t ruling it out. He also would not rule out ligament damage. Farrell said the best-case scenario was rest and rehab would clear up the issue, but said he would know more Friday.
"Doesn't look good," Hanrahan said Wednesday. "Leave it up to the experts, see what they say, let them put their heads together and go from there.
"If it is bad, I'm still 31, my personal setup will be all right," he said. "On the [bad] side, I've been here and I haven't been able to do anything I want to, to show anybody who I really am. So that part will stink if something bad happens."
To take his roster spot, the Red Sox recalled right-hander Joe De La Torre from Triple-A Pawtucket. The transfer of Hanrahan to the 60-day was required to make room for De La Torre on the 40-man roster. To clear a spot for De La Torre on the 25-man roster, pitcher Allan Webster, who started Wednesday night, was sent back down to Pawtucket.
The Red Sox are presently without two relievers with extensive closing experience. Along with Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey is on the DL with biceps inflammation, though he could be activated next week. In the meantime, Junichi Tazawa will take over closing duties.
The 27-year-old De Ta Torre will be making his debut in the majors. He has appeared in 10 games in Pawtucket this season. He was 1-0 with one save and a 1.56 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings.