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Hanrahan returns; Bailey to remain as closer

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 30, 2013 05:50 PM

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TORONTO Joel Hanrahan was activated off the disabled list Tuesday by the Red Sox. But Andrew Bailey is still the closer.

"Andrew will remain our closer right now," Farrell said. "A healthy Joel Hanrahan makes us a better team. Joel is very well aware there's the need for and he's in agreement that some appearances are needed to get under his belt to get him back in the flow of things."

Hanrahan said he understood the decision.

"I had a talk with Farrell for a little bit today," he said. "Obviously I've been out of the game for 15 days. So he's going to kind of work me back in. Bailey's been doing a heck of a job. I told him that I'm comfortable with whatever you want to do. The way the team is playing right now, I just want to fit in and do my part to help."

Farrell said he hoped to use Hanrahan in low-leverage situations at first. Hanrahan has not pitched in a major league game since April 13. He pitched in two rehab games for Pawtucket.

Bailey has allowed two runs on only six hits over 12.1 innings and struck out 20 with four walks. He has converted five of six save chances.

Farrell said he is not worried about a controversy. But having two closers can be a tough balance for a manager. The Red Sox named Hanrahan their closer when they traded for him in December and he lost the job after six games and an injury.

One factor: Bailey is under control for 2014 and Hanrahan is not. It's much easier to bruise the feelings of a player who may only be here one season.

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Shane Victorino took batting practice in the cage and did some light exercising. But he is not in the lineup for the fifth consecutive game and is unlikely to play in this series.

"There is some improvement continuing to be made," Farrell said.

By Thursday, Farrell indicated, the Red Sox will decide whether to place Victorino on the disabled list (retroactive to Thursday) or allow him to play against Texas.

"We get through this series and find out where he's at, whether he's back on the field at some point in this series or depending on how many days are needed at that point, that's probably the threshold where we might have to adjust," Farrell said.

The Red Sox hope to avoid what happened to the Yankees with Kevin Youkilis. He missed six games with a back injury, played in one and aggravated it, and now he's on the DL.

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