The right-handed reliever, recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to replace injured outfielder Brandon Moss, struggled in three previous callups. However, the team thinks this time will be different.
"We probably rushed him, because his stuff was so good," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He's a hard-thrower with a nasty slider. I think he's gotten to the point where he's like, 'Me against you -- let's go.' And the results have been very good."
Hansen had a 1-0 record at Pawtucket this season with a 1.62 ERA in 11 appearances. He had allowed three earned runs on six hits, while striking out 17 in 16 2/3 innings.
"I've been working on my slider," Hansen said. "I've been trying to throw my slider in certain situations, and it's worked out."
His previous appearances with the Red Sox have not. In 2005, Hansen made four appearances and allowed two runs on six hits in three innings, blowing a save in the process. The next year he went 2-2 with a 6.63 ERA in 38 appearances. This season, he took the loss against the Angels on April 23 and was sent back to Pawtucket immediately after the game.
"That was a good learning step," Hansen said of his previous stints with Boston.
He appears to have learned his lesson. But more than anything, Hansen realized that players with little success don't last long. He didn't want to be remembered as a pitcher that had good stuff, but couldn't do anything with it.
"I got to do [well] now, or else I don't know what's going to happen," Hansen said.
Hansen takes the roster spot of Moss, who had surgery for an appendectomy on Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Francona said before Monday's game against Detroit that Moss could begin light jogging later this week.
Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less