SEATTLE — The trade the Red Sox made to get closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pittsburgh Pirates last December turned into a disaster.
Hanrahan pitched poorly in nine games before tearing a ligament in his right elbow, and will miss the rest of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Hanrahan will be a free agent after the season and a return to Boston is unlikely.
Mark Melancon, one of the players traded for Hanrahan, has become one of the best relievers in baseball. He has an 0.85 earned run average in 43 appearances for the Pirates. Through Tuesday, Melancon had struck out 44 and walked four over 42⅓ innings.
Righthander Stolmy Pimentel has a 3.57 ERA in 18 minor league starts for the Pirates and has regained his status as a prospect.
Even second-tier prospect Ivan DeJesus Jr. has played well for the Pirates in Triple A.
But the Red Sox could still salvage something of value from the trade thanks to the play of Brock Holt.
The 25-year-old infielder started at third base for the fifth consecutive game on Wednesday night in Seattle.
Holt was 3 for 11 with two walks and three RBIs in his first four games. He also has been strong defensively.
“He’s been outstanding,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s made the play on the run, he’s made some reactionary plays. The more you look at that position and the traditional profile has been that power-type hitter. But defensively, when you have that other type of middle infielder with that reactionary quickness, they can save some outs and keep a big inning from happening. He’s done a very good job defensively for us.”
Holt played third base for the first time in spring training. The Sox then gave him a shot despite Holt playing only seven games at the position for Triple A Pawtucket.
“It takes some getting used to the angles. But it gets more comfortable every day,” Holt said. “The coaches have been great in terms of getting me ready and telling me what to expect.”
Holt hit .292 in 24 games for the Pirates last season. He could stick with the Red Sox as a utility player once Stephen Drew comes off the disabled list and Jose Iglesias returns to third base.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to be around these guys and be part of a winning team,” Holt said. “Every day is a learning experience.”
The Red Sox optioned rookie righthander Allen Webster back to Pawtucket a day after he allowed seven runs over 2⅓ innings. Righthander Alfredo Aceves also was sent back to Pawtucket.
Righthanders Pedro Beato and Steven Wright were recalled from Pawtucket.
Webster had been scheduled to start on Sunday at Oakland.
“To be determined,” said Farrell when asked who will face the Athletics.
Webster had a 9.57 earned run average in six starts. He has given up 11 runs in the first inning alone.
“As much as we felt like Allen was making solid progress and solid strides over the last couple of starts, that first inning has been a challenge for him,” Farrell said. “To break it down further, the consistency of his fastball usage to both sides of the plate and executing that pitch is a fundamental area that has to be improved upon.”
Farrell mentioned Wright or Brandon Workman as candidates to start on Sunday. Workman worked two innings in Wednesday night’s 11-4 win. The Red Sox also could make another roster move. They are carrying an extra position player, outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bradley may soon be headed back to Pawtucket as Jacoby Ellsbury was back in the lineup Wednesday after missing two games with a sore left wrist.
The move to drop Aceves was odd. He threw only 13 pitches on Tuesday.
“By all accounts that we have, he is not injured,” Farrell said. “I will say this, he felt some soreness in his left side before he came up here. But he was available to pitch and he was available to continue to pitch [Tuesday] night.”
Buchholz on track
Clay Buchholz, who has not pitched since June 8 because of a sore neck and shoulder, threw 25 pitches in the bullpen and had no setbacks.
He is scheduled for another bullpen session on Friday, likely a longer one. If that goes well, he would start for Pawtucket on Sunday afternoon.
Buchholz would probably need at least two minor league starts before rejoining the Red Sox rotation.
“Today was a very good day for him,” Farrell said.
Surgery for Miller
Lefthander Andrew Miller received a second opinion on his injured left foot and it was confirmed that season-ending surgery is required. Miller tore a ligament against the Angels on Saturday. The surgery is expected to be in Boston in the coming days . . . Righthanded reliever Alex Wilson, who went on the DL Tuesday with a sprained right thumb, has only inflammation and will be shut down for four or five days. The Sox initially feared he had a more serious injury . . . David Ross, out with a concussion since June 18, saw a specialist Tuesday. He continues to improve and could return to the team by the end of the month. The Sox do expect Ross to play again this season but he is not eligible to come off the DL until mid-August . . . Shane Victorino started again in right field, but he is expected to have Thursday off as the Sox play a day game to end the series.
Koji Uehara dropped to fourth place in the voting for the final spot on the American League All-Star team. Online fan voting ends at 4 p.m. Eastern Thursday. Toronto’s reliever Steve Delabar leads the voting . . . Fenway Park’s Mike Walsh was selected by Aramark as an “All-Star Vendor” for the All-Star Game. Walsh is a 25-year-old from Allston . . . The Yankees are expecting Derek Jeter to return to their roster this weekend. He has been on the DL all season recovering from a broken ankle. That would mean Jeter would be at Fenway Park for the first series after the All-Star break . . . Red Sox prospect Anthony Ranaudo started in the Eastern League All-Star Game Wednesday in New Britain, Conn. The righthander walked three and allowed a three-run homer in his one inning. Catcher Christian Vazquez and third baseman Michael Almanzar also started the game.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com.