The Red Sox thought highly enough of their top 2005 amateur draft pick, whom they signed to a four-year deal valued at $4 million, that they considered summoning him to the big leagues in late August, to help their ailing bullpen.
But then Hansen (above) complained of right-shoulder fatigue, and now he is not only still in the minors, but he is inactive, working his way back from a shutdown. He last pitched for the Sea Dogs on Aug. 26, and he has been limited to playing catch.
A trip to the big leagues this season now seems extremely unlikely.
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein described Hansen’s condition as “day to day.” He added, “His biggest impact for us will come down the road.”
“I was definitely disappointed, because my job is to go out there and pitch,” Hansen said of the fatigue. “I felt like I couldn’t do my job. Basically, it was taken away from me due to arm fatigue. No matter where it was, I just wanted to be out there pitching.
“If I did get called up, I’d get called up. I’d try to contribute up there. I was enjoying it down here for as long as I was here, for as long as I was pitching.”
If he doesn’t reach the majors this season, “No, it won’t be a disappointment at all,” said the 21-year-old, who nevertheless vowed that he’d return to game action this season. “The Portland Sea Dogs are a great team. We’re in the playoffs right now against the Trenton Thunder. I’m going out there and taking it one game at a time, one pitch at a time. It’s just great to be in the playoffs with such great players.”
His pitches, according to most, are just as ready for the big leagues as are his cliches.
On the other side of the Rivalry, Yankees officials are surely, privately not disappointed about Hansen’s setback. The Yankees, with the 17th selection in the 2005 draft, passed on Hansen, opting for high school shortstop CJ Henry. If Hansen had performed well for the Red Sox this season, George Steinbrenner would have wondered why his team didn’t draft him.