USA TODAY Sports
For the second straight year, the Sox have brought in a closer from outside. Will this year's model be any more successful?
When the Sox traded for Andrew Bailey last year, it came with a couple of big questions: can he stay healthy, and can he keep the ball in Fenway? The answer to the first was "no," the answer to the second "no, but he can't really pitch period this year, so maybe that's just a symptom."
To make a long story short, it was ugly, ugly, ugly. Even uglier than the first-half fill-in job done by Alfredo Aceves. Hell, we're talking Gagne levels of bad here.
So it makes sense that the Red Sox wanted a replacement. But are they just repeating their mistakes? Hanrahan, like Bailey, comes with questions. And while those questions are different--he's not typically had too much trouble with injuries--they're no less concerning. For all that Joel Hanrahan kept runs off the board, he struggled with control throughout, and things only got worse as the year went on. By season's end, he was more-or-less ineffective.
So, has Joel Hanrahan lost it? Can he still find the zone? Was September a blip on the radar, or a sign of things to come?