BOSTON – Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan will be sidelined at least two months and is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews for an examination that could determine whether the pitcher needs surgery.
Boston transferred Hanrahan from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list Thursday with what the Red Sox said was a strained right forearm. It is the right-hander’s second stint on the DL this season. He previously was on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.
Manager John Farrell said Hanrahan was told he might need surgery.
Farrell said an MRI on Hanrahan’s arm appeared to show no structural damage to the ligament that connects bones in the upper and lower arm but that hasn’t been ruled out.
“That’s where (Friday’s) exam will be valuable,” Farrell said of Hanrahan’s visit to Andrews, a noted orthopedist.
Even if surgery isn’t necessary, recovery from the injury should take at least two months, Farrell said.
“Once we got the initial MRI, it seemed that was a possibility,” he said. “Not knowing the extent or total number of days, we felt it was still going to require some recovery time. Then, when you factor in the buildup back from that, we felt like this was going to be a couple months total at a minimum.”
Hanrahan last pitched Monday night when he allowed a tying homer in the ninth inning to Brian Dozier. The Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in 11 innings.
In nine games during his first season with Boston, Hanrahan is 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA and four saves in six opportunities. The Red Sox acquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a December trade after he went 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA and 36 saves in 40 chances last year.
An NL All-Star each of the past two seasons, Hanrahan is earning $7.04 million this year and can become a free agent after the season.
Andrew Bailey, who became the closer when Hanrahan was on the disabled list from April 14-29, went on the 15-day DL on Monday with a strained right biceps.
Farrell said Junichi Tazawa will take over the closer’s role.
The Red Sox also called up Jose De La Torre from Pawtucket and optioned Allen Webster to the Triple-A team in moves involving right-handed pitchers. De La Torre, in the majors for the first time, was acquired from Cleveland last July. He was 1-0 with a 1.56 ERA in 10 relief appearances for Pawtucket this year.
Webster was sent down one day after allowing eight runs in 1 2/3 innings in his second major league start.