Joel Hanrahan signed with the Detroit Tigers last May after undergoing a Tommy John surgery on his elbow. Originally expected to return in June, it is now halfway through July and there is stil no time frame set for his return.
General manager Dave Dombrowski mentioned that “there were any expectations of timeframe, because I’ve dealt enough with people coming back from Tommy Johns and major surgeries like that. There’s a lot of ups and there’s downs and there’s really not a lot of consistency.”
Currently rehabilitating in Lakeland, Florida, Hanrahan has been throwing bullpens consistently over the past couple weeks. He most recently threw a bullpen Tuesday. According to Dombrowski, he has been throwing well when first beginning, however it is uncertain if he has the stamina to throw back to back innings as would be expected of him in the big leagues.
“He’s throwing. He’ll throw bullpens again this week, but I don’t know if he’s going to take off from here or I don’t know if he’ll stagnate from here,” said Dombrowski.
Unfortunately the Tigers will not be seeing Hanrahan pitch prior to the trade deadline of July 31, which would have helped the club better evaluate their bullpen needs. For now, no return date is given and only time will tell if he can play again in the majors.
It would be smart for the Tigers to hold out and evaluate the situation over some more time, as prior to the injury, Hanrahan was one of the hardest throwing relievers in baseball and from 2010-2012 he posted a 2.73 ERA with 228 strikeouts in 198 innings.