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Craig Hansen

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Craig Hansen

Craig hansen

Position Relief Pitcher
Team Pittsburgh Pirates
Years of Experience 2 years
Age 24
Height 6 ft 5 in
Weight 185 lb
Bats Right
Throws Right
College St. John's University
2008 Salary $700,000
Place of Birth Glen Cove, New York
Selection 1st round 2005 Amateur Draft
Drafted by Boston Red Sox
Major League Debut September 19, 2005

Craig Robert Hansen (born November 15, 1983 in Glen Cove, New York) is a relief pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. A dominant closer out of St. John's University, Hansen was drafted in 2005 and quickly made his major league debut, but has since spent most of his career at the Triple-A level. At 6-foot-5, Hansen reportedly can reach 97 to 98 miles per hour with his fastball and mixes in a hard slider.[1]

College careerEdit

Hansen's collegiate career began at St. John's in 2003 after selecting the school over Columbia, Yale and Hofstra.[2][3]

While he struggled during his freshman campaign in 2003, Hansen began to establish himself as a closer during his sophomore season in 2004. Hansen posted a 3-2 record with 14 saves in his junior season of 2005, registering 85 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched, a 1.68 ERA, and was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America.[4][5]

Pro careerEdit

With the 26th pick in the first round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, the Boston Red Sox selected Hansen and signed him to a four-year deal valued at $4 million.[6] The Red Sox added him to the 40-man roster, assigning Hansen to a conditioning stint in Fort Myers before sending him to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. Hansen joined the Boston Red Sox as a late season call-up, making his major league debut on September 19 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Hansen struck out the first man he faced, pitching a perfect inning with two strikeouts, and would make three more appearances before the end of the season.[7]

After starting the 2006 season in Portland and Pawtucket, Hansen was recalled on June 6 by the Red Sox. On June 26, Hansen earned his first major league win in an extra-inning game against the Philadelphia Phillies. On August 20, Hansen entered a tie game against the New York Yankees in the 10th inning only to allow a game-winning home run to Jason Giambi and a two-run home run to Jorge Posada. [8] Hansen would end the season with a 6.63 ERA. During spring training for the 2007 season, manager Terry Francona suggested that the team may have rushed Hansen to the majors too quickly.[9]

Following the 2006 season, Hansen enrolled himself in a sleep study clinic after hearing complaints from family and roommates for years about his loud snoring. The results revealed that he suffered from severe sleep apnea, and it would manifest itself as fatigue and the inability to focus. Hansen informed the Red Sox, but he chose not to get the surgery to correct the condition because it would interfere with his preparation for the upcoming season. However, Hansen spent the entire 2007 season with the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, going 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA, and did not earn a promotion to Boston, who went on to win the World Series without him. Hansen also played in the developmental Arizona Fall League to get extra work in after missing some of the season with forearm tenderness.[10] During the off-season, Hansen underwent surgery in the hopes of correcting the sleep apnea condition that may have affected his stamina and pitching performance.[11]

Hansen was called up to Boston on April 24, taking the place of David Pauley, who had made a spot start. He was returned to Pawtucket the very next day, as Justin Masterson was called on to make a start for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was sick with the flu. He returned to the majors on May 4, when Brandon Moss was placed on the disabled list, manager Terry Francona citing the need for extra bullpen arms over a 5th outfielder. He remained with the team, however he struggled badly, along with fellow relievers Manny Delcarmen and Hideki Okajima and led to many concerns about Boston's bullpen being able to bridge the gap between the starters and Jonathan Papelbon. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, along with Brandon Moss, just prior to the 4pm EDT trading deadline on July 31, in the deal that sent Manny Ramírez to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jason Bay to the Red Sox.

ReferencesEdit

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