On the disabled list since April 16 with a right hamstring strain, Hanrahan made two rehab appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket. After allowing two runs in one inning last Friday, Hanrahan tossed a scoreless frame in his second and final rehab appearance Sunday.
While the Red Sox acquired Hanrahan from the Pirates in December to be their closer, Andrew Bailey will remain in that role for the time being. Hanrahan converted three of his four save opportunities before getting injured, but manager John Farrell elected to stay with Bailey, who has five saves and sports a 1.46 ERA.
Farrell spoke to both of them about his decision Tuesday.
"[Farrell] just came up to me and said with Joel coming back and being activated, we're going to keep things the same and I'll stay at closer," Bailey said. "We're excited to have him back. He's a big part of our team and bullpen. In here, it's awesome. We've got 25 guys on the same page. That's really all you can ask for."
Hanrahan told Farrell he was comfortable in whatever role he was put into and was just excited to rejoin the club. When asked if he still wanted to close, Hanrahan said that was something that can be addressed down the road.
For now, Hanrahan just wants to help Boston win in any capacity that he can.
"I'm not trying to stir any controversy -- there could have been some of that in December," Hanrahan said. "The way Andrew handled that at that time, that's kind of the approach that I want to take and just go out there and do my part. Bailey has been doing a heck of a job."
Farrell couldn't compliment the attitude of both of them enough.
"It's not an easy situation, because of how talented both he and Andrew are," Farrell said. "The one thing that Joel is, is a very good teammate. He's understanding and sees what has been happening here and how well Andrew has pitched. Hopefully there [are] opportunities for both guys to close out games."
Farrell said the plan is to ease Hanrahan into games in lower-leverage situations as he works his way back into the swing of things. A strong backend of the bullpen, Farrell said, allows him to do that.
Hanrahan voiced no displeasure with the decision, Farrell said, and the manager believes that speaks volumes about Hanrahan's character and willingness to put his ego aside for the betterment of the team.
"There is a special feeling going on inside of [the clubhouse] and guys are willing to sacrifice for one another," Farrell said.
Bard returns to Portland after allowing one run on one hit and two walks over one inning of work in two relief appearances for the Red Sox.