Pittsburgh Pirates: Joel Hanrahan Back With The Organization

Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

News: Former Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan is now back with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  No longer as a pitcher, but as a coach.

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired right-handed reliever Joel Hanrahan and outfielder Lastings Milledge on July 30, 2009, from the Washington Nationals in exchange for outfielder Nyjer Morgan and left-handed reliever Sean Burnett.

Hanrahan struggled in 2009 with the Nationals, posting a 7.71 ERA in 32.2 innings, but because of sample sizes, we know that ERA is not the best indicator for relievers.  Nevertheless, the big right-hander came over and found immediate success in the black and gold.  As a member of the Pirates, Hanrahan pitched to a 1.72 ERA and struck out 27.6 percent of the hitters he faced.

His next year in Pittsburgh was also excellent, serving as the setup man alongside Evan Meek to closer Octavio Dotel.  Furthermore, Hanrahan posted a 2.62 FIP with a 34.0 percent strikeout rate in 69.2 innings.

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The next two seasons for Hanrahan were even better.  He posted a 1.83 ERA and saved 40 games for the Pirates in 2011, and followed that up with a 2.72 ERA and 36 saves in 2012, both All-Star seasons, the only two of his career.  His 76 saves were fifth best in the league over that time.  But, on December 26, 2012, the Pirates traded Hanrahan and Brock Holt to the Boston Red Sox for pitchers Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, middle infielder Ivan De Jesus, and outfielder Jerry Sands.  Hanrahan pitched just 7.1 more innings in his big league career because of injuries.

Today, February 22, 2017, Joel Hanrahan has come back to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote today,

"Former Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan is back at Pirate City. The club announced Wednesday Hanrahan has rejoined the organization as assistant pitching coach for Class A short-season West Virginia."

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It is a great site to see Hanrahan come back to this organization.  The former flame thrower was always a fan favorite, and to see him return to the place he had the most success is a tremendous way for everything to come full circle in Hanrahan’s playing and post-playing career.  Also, who can ever forget his amazing entrance video?

*Also, all Numbers from FanGraphs