Hanrahan's comeback takes big step

Hanrahan's comeback takes big step

BOSTON -- Right-hander Joel Hanrahan took a significant step in his comeback from an injured right hamstring on Monday, when he threw roughly 30 pitches off a mound.

"Yeah, 30 pitches in the bullpen, mostly fastballs, everything felt good," Hanrahan said.

It was a good sign that Hanrahan's leg didn't flare up when he got back on the slope, as he had been throwing off flat ground for several days.

Hanrahan will throw another bullpen session on Wednesday and perhaps embark on a Minor League rehab assignment by the weekend. He will probably pitch twice in the Minors before returning to the Red Sox.

Andrew Bailey, who on Monday was named the American League's co-Player of the Week, along with Mike Napoli, has done a nice job in the closer role since Hanrahan has been out.

Manager John Farrell isn't ready to announce how the late innings will shake out when Hanrahan returns.

"I think we'll get through the rehab assignments and get him back here before we address that," said Farrell. "I think it's probably a little bit premature to state anything along those lines."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.