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Red Sox activate Joel Hanrahan from 15-day DL; Bailey will remain closer

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Joel Hanrahan (USATSI)
Joel Hanrahan is back with the Red Sox after missing time with a hamstring problem. (USATSI)

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UPDATE: Farrell confirmed Bailey will indeed remain the closer. Hanrahan will move into a setup role for the time being.

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The Red Sox have activated right-handed reliever Joel Hanrahan off the 15-day DL. He had been sidelined by a hamstring issue. During a radio interview on Tuesday, manager John Farrell indicated Andrew Bailey would remain the team's closer.

"[Hanrahan is] active today," Farrell said, according to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com. "Before announcing what his role is, when he comes to the ballpark, we'll have a chance to sit down ... Until I have a chance to sit down with him and talk with him directly and say, 'Hey, I think this is maybe the way we should go for the short term,' we'll probably wait until we meet in person here this afternoon."

Hanrahan, 31, allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings while going 3 for 4 in save chances before the injury. He walked five and struck out only four during the time. Hanrahan pitched to a 2.24 ERA with 76 saves in 84 chances for the Pirates in 2011-12 before coming to Boston in an offseason trade.

The 28-year-old Bailey has pitched to a 1.46 ERA with 20 strikeouts and four walks in 12 1/3 innings this year, including going 5 for 6 in save chances following Hanrahan's injury. He missed most of last year with injury problems, but he was an All-Star closer for the Athletics in 2009-10.

Bailey is having success, and the Red Sox are winning. So it makes sense to stick with what's worked for the time being. Hanrahan will join Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa to form a dynamite setup crew. Plus, he'll able to ease back into things following the injury. Makes sense to keep Bailey in the ninth.

To make room on the roster for Hanrahan, the Red Sox have optioned right-hander Daniel Bard to Double-A.

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