Hanrahan: Bust, or just unlucky?

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

It’s always risky to take a player who has been performing well and move them to another team. It’s even riskier when the team that they’re going to is the Boston Red Sox. Many major league ballplayers have testified to the fact that going to Boston is isn’t easy, whether you’re traded there or you’re simply on the away team. The fans are relentless, and the media is even tougher.

That’s most likely what spoiled Joel Hanrahan for us. Looking at his stats, he seemed like he’d be okay. He posted a 2.72 ERA and 36 saves last year, and he’s been fairly consistent. But the minute he got to Boston, that all went downhill. Hanrahan has already blown two out of his five save opportunities.

Asking whether or not someone is a bust when they come to Boston can be a tough question. Think about players like Carl Crawford and Edgar Renteria. It was clearly something about being in Boston that made them worse, as they went on to do better once they left. Hanrahan is coming from Pittsburgh. Not only is the media much easier on them, but it’s the National League, which is a much different atmosphere.

Hanrahan came to Boston with big shoes to fill. As our writer Joel Trunfio said earlier, no closer has performed well for the Sox since Jonathan Papelbon. Until the Sox get someone who can do well for them, that’s the shadow that every closer will live in.

It might be too early to tell if Hanrahan is a complete bust, but because he’s already onto his second stint on the disabled list, I’m going to have to lean toward bust. It looks as though it will be onto the next one sooner rather than later.

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