John Farrell is wasting no time bringing order to the Red Sox. On the same day the team acquired Joel Hanrahan from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the new manager informed Hanrahan's fellow two-time All-Star closer Andrew Bailey that he will enter spring training as a set-up man. The decision was more about what Hanrahan does well than anything Bailey has done poorly, and Farrell felt it important to be up front with both players from the get-go. "(Hanrahan's) performance pretty much speaks for itself," Farrell said. "This is a multi-year All-Star closer. We went into the offseason with the goal of improving the team however we could. We didn't go in precisely looking to add a closer, but the Hanrahan addition to a strong bullpen makes it that much stronger as we stand here today." Farrell said Bailey took the news "like a pro," and added that he still sees an important role for the reliever, whose 2012 season basically ended before it started thanks to a spring training injury suffered against Hanrahan's Pirates. "In speaking with Andrew, we communicated this to him before the deal was made, and he was aware of our approach," Farrell said. "He'll pitch meaningful innings and have an important role late in the game, as will (Koji) Uehara, (Junichi) Tazawa, (Alfredo) Aceves. This is a deep and talented group, and it just got deeper and more talented." If Hanrahan has one factor going for him as a closer, it's not so much his stuff (98 mph fastball, devastating slider) as the ability to strike hitters out. He owns a lifetime strikeout rate of 9.9 per nine innings, which is a full strikeout better than Bailey's 8.9. Since becoming a full-time reliever in 2008, Hanrahan's strikeout rate is at 10.2.
Manager's decision: Andrew Bailey to set up
Boston Herald | Dec 27