At the University of Tampa, twenty teams, including the Yankees, lined up to watch former All-Star Joel Hanrahan light up radar guns. The closer touched 93 mph with his fastball, not quite as fast as his younger, pre-surgery self, but definitely strong stuff.
After Mariano Rivera‘s retirement and David Robertson‘s groin injury, Shawn Kelley has filled in admirably as the ninth inning man, perfect in his four save opportunities thus far. The Yankees also have a plethora of pitchers who have started 2014 wonderfully, including Dellin Betances and Adam Warren. Arguably, the team doesn’t need Hanrahan. Still, with all the injuries pinstriped players have succumbed to this season, the franchise wants to have as many viable options to suit up as possible.
Hanrahan was originially drafted out of high school in 2000 by the Dodgers. A failed starter, he eventually transitioned to the bullpen, where he was a reliever for the Washington Nationals. In 2009, he was then traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and made his mark at PNC Park. In three and a half seasons with those swashbucklers, he had an ERA of 2.59, with 82 saves and 265 strikeouts. After two straight All-Star appearnaces in 2011 and 2012, Hanrahan was dealt to the Red Sox for a bevy of prospects. However, 9 games into last season, he blew out his pitching arm in mid-May.
With his most recent “pro day,” the big righty looked to allay all fears about his arm. It seems those concerns have been quelled.