I'm with Michael Silverman on this one. I think Craig Hansen is being stretched out for a possible role as a starter, rather than just being a closer. Given how shaky the starting rotation has been, the Red Sox may need to go to Hansen late in the year. He should be able to start a few games by then in the bigs.
Also, with Papelbon being rated as one of the best closers in the league this year, the Red Sox are no longer in desparate need to fill Foulke's ailing shoes, not that he's ailing all that much this year.
BostonHerald.com - Boston Red Sox: New start for Hansen
Craig Hansen’s four-inning stint for Triple-A Pawtucket Monday night may be the start of an interesting twist in the development of the 22-year-old right-hander.
Believed by most to be a closer in waiting, Hansen started Game 2 of a doubleheader and allowed five hits with four strikeouts in a 4-0 victory. The Red Sox believe his progress is best served by longer outings so he can use all his pitches, including a promising changeup.
“He may get some more starts not only to guarantee his innings but also because starting may be the best way to address some specific developmental goals,” general manager Theo Epstein said in an e-mail yesterday.