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Joel Hanrahan to start post-Tommy John throwing program

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The Red Sox reliever and impending free agent will begin his recovery from TJ starting next week.

Jim Rogash

Former Red Sox closer and impending free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan underwent Tommy John surgery earlier in 2013, and is set to begin a throwing program next week, according to Hanrahan himself. While the right-hander isn't under contract for 2014, the Red Sox could sign him and stash him on the 60-day DL in the hopes of getting a healthy Hanrahan to boost their pen as something of a mid-season addition.

This wouldn't be a bad plan by any means: Hanrahan struggled in 2013, sure, but his elbow was also a problem to the point where he needed Tommy John surgery in mid-May, after throwing all of seven innings for the Sox. An incentive-laden deal to rebuild his value in the second half of 2014 before heading out into free agency could work well for both sides, especially as the Red Sox have a few pitching prospects currently stuck between futures in starting and relief.

In the three seasons prior to Hanrahan's surgery, he posted ERA+ of 112, 203, and 139 for the Pirates over 198 combined innings. Even an approximation of that could be useful, and as the back-end of the bullpen is already set between Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and the return of Andrew Miller, Hanrahan wouldn't need to be leaned on as heavily as he was heading into this season.

This is all hypothetical, though: the only actual news of the day is that Hanrahan will begin the long road back shortly, four months after his surgery, and another six-to-eight months before he can return. Whether that eventual return comes in a Red Sox uniform is something we'll have to wait on.

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