At home at fenway

Keeping on eye on Dustin, Papi, Youk & a few good books

A Joel Hanrahan Primer

Posted by athomeatfenway on April 16, 2013


I can’t believe it.  I haven’t yet posted a Joel Hanrahan Primer.  I did one for John Farrell and another for Ryan Dempster.  The notion of a Hanrahan post floated around in my head for 2 weeks.  And floated right out of it.

The thing that kept popping into my noggin was Hanrahan’s 1.39 career WHIP, which he registered before arriving in Beantown.

Make no mistake.  1.39 is high.  Never mind that his 2013 WHIP is already 2.357.  A career 1.39 is not what you expect from a purportedly excellent closer.

1.39 approaches the Boston WHIP of 1.53 for John Lackey — still a Dead Man Walking until he proves otherwise.

1.39 is miles from Papelbon’s 0.77 in 2007 and Foulke’s 0.94 in 2004.  Hanrahan may statistically resemble Alfredo Aceves in 2012, when there was absolutely no one else to close.

What this all means is that the bearded one puts a lot of runners on base.  He gives up hits.  He walks batters.  A lot.  Not good.

John Farrell did the absolutely right thing on Saturday when the game was tied 1-1 in the top of the 9th. Johnny pulled Hanrahan after he walked the first two Ray batters.  Thankfully, 38 year old Koji Uehara  took care of business that night.

As he pulled Hanrahan for a lack of command, Farrell was influenced by JH’s implosion against the Orioles two nights prior.  The Sox led that one 5-3 when JH was handed the ball in the 9th.   We lost 8-5. 

There may be gremlins in the attic. But what else should we expect from a guy who has never played for a fan base that would drink strychnine if it meant having a solid rotation and a dependable bullpen.

Here are a few nuggets on Mr. Hanrahan.

This is no way to prepare for Broadway, Joel

There are great Baseball traditions in D.C. and Pittsburgh, the two towns that Joel Ryan Hanrahan has called home in the Bigs.  But these cities lack fans and W’s.  His Bucs finished 15th in NL attendance. In the standings, they finished last twice and 4th twice.  His Nats finished 13th and 14th in attendance while finishing last in their Division twice.  Combined, they lost 99 games or more in 3 of 6 seasons.   His teams have had as few as 57 W’s in a year.  They were, overall, 461 – 671, with a .407 winning percentage.  Welcome to the bright lights, Joel.  Try not to feel the pressure.

From Here to There to Millionaire

Hanrahan was drafted by the Dodgers in the 2nd round of the 2000 draft, well ahead of Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb and well behind Adrian Gonzales and Boof Bonzer.  He left the Dodgers organization through free agency in 2006 after 7 years in the minors, signing with Washington.  He was traded in June 2009 to Pittsburgh in a 3 player deal that included Nyjer Morgan, Mr. Tony Plush himself.  He is aged 31 years, with his best years possibly behind him.  But his $7 million salary this year is more than his combined salaries in the last 5 seasons.

The Good, the Wet and the Ugly

JH is from Norwalk, Iowa, which earned an unofficial record with 9 inches of rain in 24 hours on June 9/10, 2011.  Two movie studs grew up in Norwalk, i.e., Jason Momoa (Conan the Barbarian) and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns).  In addition to being just 11 miles from Des Moines, Norwalk is 27 miles from Van Meter, home of Bob Feller, and 50 miles from Boone, home of Jerry McNertney, the ugliest man ever to play pro ball, according to Jim Bouton.

Riding the Roller Coaster

On July 19, 2011, Hanrahan’s team, the Pirates, were 7 games over .500 and in 1st place with a .5 game lead.  On Sept. 28 of that same year, the Bucs were 18 games under .500 and 24 games out of 1st

The Big Fella in a Melting Pot

Andrew Miller is the tallest Boston reliever at 6’7”.  Clayton Mortenson is the lightest at 185 pounds.  Alfredo Aceves is the most loco with infinite peccadillos.  Joel is is the beefiest at 6’ 4” and 250 lbs.   The average BoSox reliever is 6’2” tall and 213 on the scale.  This ‘pen is a cauldron of diverse birthplaces, including Osaka, Yokohama, New Jersey, Florida, Mexico, Saudi Arabia….and Iowa.

Go Sox.


2007      Wash     Manny Acta                       73-89     1,943,182            4 of 5     14 of 16

2008      Wash     Manny Acta                       59-102  2,320,400            5 of 5     13 of 16

2009      Wash     M. Acta/ J Riggleman      59-103  1,817,266            5 of 5     13 of 16

2009      Pitt         John Russell                       62-99     1,557,833            6 of 6     15 of 16

2010      Pitt         John Russell                       57-105  1,613,399            6 of 6     15 of 16

2011      Pitt         Clint Hurdle                        72-90     1,940,429            4 of 6     15 of 16

2012      Pitt         Clint Hurdle                        79-83     2,091, 918           4 of 6     15 of 16

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