Joel Hanrahan getting close to facing live hitters
DETROIT — More than 40 days ago, the Detroit Tigers inked a deal with former big-league closer Joel Hanrahan, in the hopes that he could eventually help the bullpen.
Everyone involved knew it would be a ‘later’ proposition, rather than sooner.
The 32-year-old Hanrahan, who was just two weeks shy of the one-year anniversary after Tommy John surgery when he signed with the Tigers, is nearly ready to take the next step in his rehabilitation, and face live hitters.
“Joel’s been throwing bullpens and once we feel comfortable his next step will be to face hitters in live BP (batting practice) sessions,” Tigers head trainer Kevin Rand said.
Hanrahan had a small hitch in his rehabilitation, when the Tigers slowed his progression, but he appears to be past that now.
“He’s been throwing bullpens fairly consistently for the past couple weeks. We had shut him down for a short period of time to kind of build up arm strength . We took him through a long toss progression and now we’ve taken him back through bullpens,” Rand said. “We’re hoping at this point that we can kind of get over the hump in the near future as throwing to some live hitters. He’s close to live hitters at this point.”