Joel Hanrahan has only just resumed a throwing program after being sidelined since last Saturday with a strained right hamstring, and he isn't eligible to be activated from the disabled list until at least April 29.

But when he does return to the Red Sox, it won't necessarily be as the team's closer.

"I don't think we're sitting here today ready to make that claim," manager John Farrell said today before the Red Sox face the Indians in the middle game of a three-game series. "I think we've got to get through some things first, particularly how he responds with the hamstring. He's going to need a couple of (minor league) rehab appearances, just to get himself going again. This is a bigger-bodied guy that is a power pitcher, and we want to be sure that he feels comfortable physically before we bring him back to us and then we'll work through that at that time."

In Hanrahan's absence, right-hander Andrew Bailey will be used to protect leads in the ninth inning. Bailey, like Hanrahan, is a two-time All-Star closer, but was relegated to being a setup man after the Red Sox traded for Hanrahan in December.

Hanrahan threw from 75 feet yesterday and 90 feet today, exhibiting "no symptoms," according to Farrell. But the Red Sox haven't determined when he will attempt to throw from a mound.

In other injury-related news ...

--David Ortiz (heels) is scheduled to continue his rehab assignment tonight and tomorrow for Triple-A Pawtucket, at which point the Red Sox will decide whether to reinstate him from the disabled list for Friday night's game at Fenway Park. Farrell reiterated that, "optimistically," the Red Sox expect Ortiz to be in the lineup Friday night, "if all things go accordingly."