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Joel Hanrahan to undergo season-ending surgery, could need Tommy John

Joel Hanrahan will undergo season-ending flexor tendon surgery, and could even require Tommy John surgery, effectively ending his current contract with the Red Sox.

Jim Rogash

Red Sox reliever Joel Hanrahan will undergo season-ending flexor tendon surgery, and could also need Tommy John surgery.

While it's possible that Hanrahan will return to the team in some way down the line, with free agency in his future it seems safe to close the book on his incredibly disappointing initial stint with the team. Hanrahan has seen only seven innings of work with the Red Sox, and allowed eight earned runs, clearly costing them one game against the Orioles and not really providing much in the way of tough saves elsewhere.

This is made to sting that much more by the fact that Mark Melancon, who the Sox traded for Hanrahan, has thrown 18 innings in Pittsburgh, allowing just one earned run, striking out eighteen and allowing just eleven baserunners, not a one via the base on balls.

The good news is that this isn't exactly significant news for the Red Sox, at least not in the frame of the last week or even month. They have survived all season without a reliable Hanrahan, and it's gotten to the point where fans had largely been dreading his late-inning outings, and hoping they would not have to see him with the game on the line.

More important right now is the health of Andrew Bailey, who quickly took over the closing role from Hanrahan. While he is back to playing catch, there's little expectation he'll be off the DL when he's first eligible in three days' time. For now, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow, and the assorted supporting cast will have to hold down the fort.