Joel Hanrahan heading to elbow specialist
By Matt Pelc
Feb 28, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Joel Hanrahan (48) poses during Photo day at Joker Merchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Hanrahan was probably always a long shot to make the Detroit Tigers this season, but those odds are now becoming microscopic.
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After ending his throwing session early last week, Hanrahan was unable to get back onto the mound and because of the discomfort it is causing, he will need to see an elbow specialist in Texas on Tuesday.
Hanrahan underwent Tommy John surgery in his right elbow in May 2013 and missed the rest of the season. He tried to make a comeback last season and the Tigers were the top bidder for his services, offering him a minor league deal for around $1 million with incentives. It was hoped that the former Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates’ closer could come to help the battered Tigers’ bullpen at some point last summer, but the 33-year could never get it together.
The Tigers, and their fans, hoped another season off would give him some more healing time and he’d be back ready to go for Spring Training, but that has been far from the case.
The Tigers rolled the dice and offered him another minor league deal loaded with incentives, including if he makes the club out of Spring Training. It is also a rather club-friendly deal in which Detroit can release him and not have to pay much.
All of this has been frustrating for the Tigers, but no more so than the player himself.
"“Obviously, it’s been a long time and it’s not working out the right way, so just try to get some answers,” Hanrahan told reporters. “It’s like a roller coaster. Some days it’s better, some days it gets worse. It’s not going to be beneficial to anybody to go out there and try to pitch. If it felt the same every day, I could give you some more answers. Some days it basically feels like my bones are rubbing up against each other, some days it feels like somebody’s pinching me in my bicep. So it’s a little bit of everything. I’m past the frustration part. It’s been long enough. You guys all know that.”"
The Tigers will not admit it, because it seemed like they never really were relying upon Joel, but the surprise signing of Joba Chamberlain last week may have been in response to Hanrahan’s looming fate.
We wish nothing but the best for Joel Hanrahan, but it appears that if he has a baseball future it won’t be for the Detroit Tigers. At least not in the 2015 season.