Great closers learned by starting 

May, 5, 2006
Sean McAdam reported this morning in the Providence Journal that the Red Sox have discussed using Craig Hansen as a starter if David Wells doesn't come back from his knee problems because Jon Lester isn't ready and they cannot find a suitable fifth starter on the market.

The story is right. It's been discussed, as he stated. But that set off the day's talk-radio theory that the Red Sox all along planned to make Hansen a starter once Jonathan Papelbon moved into the role of the closer because they were using Hansen in Double-A in three-inning stints instead of a closer role.

Which, of course is silly. "We want Craig to develop all his pitches," said Theo Epstein when Hansen went to Portland. "He knows how to close.I'm not worried about that. But in the major leagues, you can't get by throwing one pitch, as he found out last September against the Orioles. We want him learning to use his pitches, develop his sinker, his slider and his changeup, so that when he gets to the major leagues he can pitch."