Red Sox manager John Farrell said this morning that righthander Joel Hanrahan has a sore right hamstring that has affected his performance on the mound.
Hanrahan struggled in his last three appearances, allowing six runs on five hits (two of them home runs) and four walks over 1.2 innings. He blew a save against the Orioles on Wednesday and on Saturday was pulled from the game after walking the only two batters he faced.
"We met with him this morning. The one thing that Joel has been dealing with is some right hamstring soreness," Farrell said. "It's a manageable situation but it's clearly had some effect on his ability to repeat his delivery. Something he felt in his second outing in New York (on April 3) and has been getting treatment on it the past week.
"Clearly the right hamstring soreness is in the back of his mind. Looking at some video again this morning, it looks like his right leg is collapsed a little bit in his delivery. It's caused him to work uphill or a little bit more side-to-side and not have that same effectiveness. He's day-to-day right now."
Hanrahan injured his right hamstring last April 15 while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates. At the time, he attributed it to throwing 31 pitches in one inning against the Giants. This injury, he said, is in the same spot.
Hanrahan threw 32 pitches against the Orioles on Wednesday when he allowed five runs.
"It's kind of been there in the back of my mind. I was hoping I could get through it," Hanrahan said. "I've kind of pitched a couple of games through it and I've been doing some treatment on it. It's not anything terrible but it's something that's going to need a couple of days off, I think."
Hanrahan was out five days with the injury last season and was strong when he returned.
"We've got to let this settle down first before we get him back into game activity," Farrell said. "What that game activity is, that has yet to be determined."
Farrell said that Andrew Bailey would close until Hanrahan is ready. The Sox will stay away from Hanrahan "for the next couple of days" according to Farrell.
"It's something I've got to get right," Hanrahan said. "Everybody's got a little bump and bruise. At this point, I'm going to take a couple of days and get it right. It's kind of been there every game and progressively gotten a little worse. It's something that, if I keep running out there trying to do it, I'm going to hurt myself more and hurt the rest of the team. We felt like the best way was to take a couple of days."
Hanrahan said the injury has affected his mechanics.
"You not able to repeat your delivery when you're worrying about your hamstring, if it's going to pull or grab or going to twist. It's something that's in the back of your mind," he said.
Hanrahan has pitched in four games since April 3 and shown no decrease in velocity.
"Most importantly, this wasn't something that kept him from pitching," Farrell said. "He had been available. It's in the back of his mind enough to affect the concentration and the repeating of his delivery.
"You could tell from his strong outings in spring training to the first three saves that he converted here that he wasn't clicking."
Could Hanrahan land on the disabled list?
"Right now we're hopeful that's not the case," Farrell said. "That's not to speculate that it would. I think our starters working deep in the game will have some effect on that. As we mentioned to Joel, we'll put our heads together and map out what's best for all involved."
Hanrahan said it's frustrating for him to be dealing with the injury while trying to pitch.
"That's the main part because I know when I go out there I'm not 100 percent. The guy that's been out there the last couple of games, that's not Joel Hanrahan," he said. "I know that. I don't know if everybody, the fans here, they don't know much because they haven't seen me pitch much. That's not me, that's not the way that I pitch. I feel like once I get my legs underneath me I can be back to where I was."