Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan will be forced to miss a few more days with a sore hamstring, so the club decided to place him on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday (April 13). Andrew Bailey will continue to hold down the closer duties, but get used to the name Koji Uehara, who should slide into at least a set-up role in Hanrahan’s absence.
In Toronto, Sergio Santos was also disabled with a triceps strain that has bothered him since spring training. His DL stint enables the club to activate 3B Brett Lawrie, but you can expect to see Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil inherit some eighth inning and shut-down situations in the Jays’ pen.
Bailey did blow his first save opportunity on Monday afternoon, surrendering a one-run lead to the Rays, but he pitched out of further trouble and inherited the win. The closer job is his to lose. Bailey, in an admittedly small sample of 5.1 IP has 15.2 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 rates. He also has a 1.69 ERA. For his part, Uehara has also pitched 5.1 innings, with an 8.4 K/9 rate and just 1.7 BB/9 thus far. He has not given up an earned run. Should Bailey struggle, Sox fans will look to Uehara to step in.
Hanrahan may have to earn his job back should Bailey – a former AL Rookie of the Year – exceed in the role. Hanrahan displayed great wildness last season, despite good surface statistics. In our Closer Confidential report on Monday, we downgraded Hanrahan to just a 35 percent confidence rating. If you own Hanrahan in your Fantasy league, we recommend you search for either another closer or skilled set-up man who might inherit the ninth inning for his team.
Santos has been trying to play through triceps soreness for the Jays, but needed to be shut down at least temporarily. He sported a 3.95 ERA and was striking out more than 12 batters per nine innings. Delabar displayed good skills last season, but so far in 2013, he has shown wildness in seven innings. His ERA is under 3.00 but he is walking about five hitters per nine innings. Cecil has struck out almost 13 batters per nine innings with a 1.46 ERA. He has already appeared in eighth inning situations for Toronto. Expect Cecil, who has added about 2 mph to each of his pitches, to settle into an eighth inning role and provide a good strikeout totals if Santos remains sidelined more than a couple of weeks.