Hansen with the Boston Red Sox
|Born: November 15, 1983|
Glen Cove, New York
|September 19, 2005, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 19, 2009, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Earned run average||6.34|
Craig Robert Hansen (born November 15, 1983) is an American former professional baseball pitcher.He previously played for the Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates. A 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 in minor league baseball. At 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m), Hansen reportedly can reach 97 to 98 miles per hour (156–158 km/h) with his fastball and mixes in a hard slider.
Hansen's collegiate career began at St. John's University in 2003, where he pitched for the St. John's Red Storm. Hansen selected St. John's over Columbia University, Yale University, and Hofstra University.
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.
Boston Red Sox
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. 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.
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. 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.
In 2007 at Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, he went 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA but did not get a promotion to the eventual World Series Champion Red Sox. Hansen also played in the developmental Arizona Fall League to get extra work in after missing some of the season with forearm tenderness. 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.
On August 27, 2008, the Pirates optioned Hansen to AAA (Indianapolis Indians). This move was made after Hansen allowed four earned runs without recording an out against the Chicago Cubs the previous night. Hansen was recalled to the Pirates on September 2.
In 2009, Hansen was diagnosed with brachial plexus neuropathy, a rare condition causing pain, weakness, and numbness in the arms, shoulders, and upper back. Recovery is usually complete, but can take as long as five years. Hansen was able to pitch in a limited number of minor league games in 2010, but was not at full effectiveness, and the Pirates released him in early 2011.
New York Mets
- Chris Snow (2005-07-25). "Rookie closer gets start on pro career". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- "Player Bio: Craig Hansen". St. John's University. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- "Craig Hansen Biography". Craig-Hansen.com. Retrieved 2008-03-21.[dead link]
- "St. John's Pitcher Craig Hansen Earns First Team All-American Honors". St. John's University. 2005-06-15. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- "Craig Hansen Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- Ian Browne (2005-09-20). "Notes: Hansen, Ramirez get the call: Red Sox's top prospects join club for stretch run". MLB.com. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- "Boxscore — NY Yankees Vs. Boston Red Sox August 20, 2006". The Baseball Cube. 2006-08-20. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- Dan Shaughnessy (2007-03-28). "Hansen, Delcarmen sent down: Snyder claims spot in bullpen". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- Amalie Benjamin (2007-09-19). "Muscle still missing from lineup: Fall ball for Hansen". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- Ian Browne (2008-02-12). "Refreshed Hansen bursting with energy: Young reliever feeling great following sleep apnea surgery". MLB.com. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- Gordon Edes (2008-03-01). "Matsuzaka comfortable". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- "Pirates send Hansen to minors". Sports Illustrated. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-08-27.[dead link]
- "Pittsburgh Pirates Transactions: September 2008". MLB.com. 2008-09-02. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- Kovacevic, Dejan. "Pirates Notebook: Hansen's recovery uncertain", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 5, 2009.