Hanrahan was one of the most dominant relievers in the majors in 2010.
This time last year the bullpen was a huge question mark. Closer Matt Capps was coming off a horrible season, and due for his second year of arbitration. Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek had some promise, but neither could really be counted on, as hard as that is to believe now. Meek had decent numbers in 2009, but struggled with a high walk rate. Hanrahan rebounded with the Pirates, but that was only after bombing with the Nationals. Jesse Chavez and Steven Jackson had decent numbers, and both were middle relief options.
Then things started to fall apart. The Pirates non-tendered Capps. They traded Chavez to Tampa Bay in exchange for Akinori Iwamura. They outrighted Jackson to AAA, which wasn't really a huge loss. They were left with Hanrahan, coming off a roller coaster season, and Meek, who still hadn't rebounded from the control issues that plagued him his entire career.
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.