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With Hanrahan on DL, Tazawa becomes the closer

BOSTON -- Plans A and B are currently not options for the Red Sox in the ninth inning after they officially placed Joel Hanrahan on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a right forearm strain.

With Andrew Bailey already on the DL with a right biceps strain, Junichi Tazawa will fill in as the closer.

"Koji [Uehara]'s done an excellent job in that seventh, eighth inning for us," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "With the addition of Craig Breslow in that mix, I feel like we've gotten more options to match up in that bridge to Junichi as a closer, and I like the fact that Junichi's got power to his pitch mix.

"He's been effective against lefties and righties as well. I think the late-inning guys we have here do a very good job of controlling the running game. All things considered, Junichi is the choice."

To replace Hanrahan on the roster, the Red Sox summoned right-hander Allen Webster from Triple-A Pawtucket, and he will start Wednesday in place of the struggling Felix Doubront.

Tazawa, who has done a tremendous job for the Red Sox as a setup man since the second half of last season, is looking forward to the latest opportunity.

"I had always concentrated on the task at hand," Tazawa said. "That has been my mindset from the beginning. Both of those guys have gone down, so I guess there's a chance [to close]. But I'm just going to focus on what's at hand."

Tazawa could be back in his familiar setup role before long. Bailey (right biceps injury) is eligible to come off the disabled list in one week, when the Red Sox open a nine-game road trip against the Rays.

As for Hanrahan, this is his second DL stint of the season. He was sidelined with a right hamstring strain from April 14-29.

He is confident this injury won't be a major one, either.

"I think in the long run, we dodged a bullet," Hanrahan said. "It's nothing that needs a knife, so that's always positive.''

The Red Sox gave Hanrahan a series of tests on Tuesday, including an MRI.

"I still need to talk to one more [doctor]," Hanrahan said. "But talking to them earlier, I think it's all right."

There isn't an exact timetable for Hanrahan's injury, and that's by design.

"I want to be careful not to put a timeframe out there, and then either he's quicker than it or longer than it -- then it become a story in of itself," Farrell said. "I think right now, it's confirmed that he's got a strain to the right forearm, so when we say there's going to be a shutdown period, we have to go on [symptoms]. I'm sure at some point there will be a re-exam or a re-MRI of the right forearm. At this point, he's in a shutdown period."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato.
Read More: Boston Red Sox, Junichi Tazawa, Allen Webster