Two-time All-Star reliever Joel Hanrahan, who has spent the past five years coaching in the Pirates organization, announced on Twitter today that he’s decided to step away from the organization. Said Hanrahan:
“After 5 years coaching with the Pirates I have decided to move on and look for other opportunities. Thank you to the Pirates for giving my first shot at coaching. I wish all the players, coaches and organization the best. I’m looking forward to a new challenge and opportunity.”
Hanrahan, 40, was the Pirates’ Triple-A pitching coach in 2021 and was expected to reprise that role for the 2022 season. He spoke with The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel less than two months ago about his ambitions of coaching in the Major Leagues with Pittsburgh. The Pirates clearly valued having Hanrahan in their system, naming him the organization’s coach of the year following the season. Hanrahan tells Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he now has another position lined up, although that specific role isn’t yet clear.
A second-round draft pick by the Dodgers back in 2000, Hanrahan pitched parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues, working to a combined 3.85 ERA with an even 25% strikeout rate and exactly 100 saves over the course of 404 2/3 innings. He spent the bulk of his big league career with the Buccos, twice leading the team in saves (40 in 2011 and 36 in 2012), though Hanrahan originally debuted as a National and pitched his final game for the Red Sox.
Hanrahan was very much in his prime at the time Pittsburgh traded him to Boston in Dec. 2012, having just racked up those 76 saves and made consecutive All-Star teams with the Pirates. Unfortunately, his Red Sox tenure lasted just 7 1/3 innings, as he was diagnosed with a torn UCL early in the 2013 season and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery. He signed with the Tigers as a free agent following that year but ultimately wound up requiring a second Tommy John surgery that proved to be a career-ender.