Tigers Bullpen Finds Relief in Hanrahan

It took one month for Dave Dombrowski to realize his team needed some major help.

With Bruce Rondon in the midst of Tommy John surgery, Luke Putkonen on the 15-day DL and a bullpen ERA of 5.37, the Tigers were floundering. On Friday, it was announced that Detroit acquired for closer Joel Hanrahan from the Red Sox. Hanrahan’s deal is set at one-year, $1 million dollars. His role will revolve around being a set up man in the future.

However, Hanrahan will not be on the mound in the old English D immediately. He only played nine games in 2013 due to Tommy John surgery, and he has not pitched in a game since. Dombrowski believes Hanrahan will start his recovery with Detroit’s spring program in Lakeland, Fla. His timetable for Comerica is undetermined, but a late May appearance may be possible.

As for the Tigers, they may need to hold out with the ailing relief pitching they have for a little bit longer. Although first in the AL Central, Detroit is ranked No. 29 in ERA, No. 28 in BAA (batting average allowed), and has six relievers with an ERA over four. With a 14-9 record, Detroit has somehow managed to avoid disaster, but it will not be long until the starters cannot give run support the bullpen has shown it needs.

Detroit’s attempt to revamp relief pitching continues with the Hanrahan pickup. The Tigers acquired relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain and closer Joe Nathan in the 2013 offseason.

Fans may need to wait until June to see if Hanrahan can contribute, but any fresh face should be a welcomed sight in the Tigers bullpen.

Richie Cozzolino is host of Tiger Talk for Impact Sports.