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Reliever Hansen among latest cuts

Hansen among Red Sox's latest cuts

TAMPA, Fla. -- While informing reliever Craig Hansen that he had been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, Red Sox manager Terry Francona told the right-hander that he has the opportunity to become this year's Manny Delcarmen.

After all, Delcarmen -- who was a vital part of the Boston bullpen by the time the team won the World Series -- did not make last year's team out of camp.

"We've got a kid that has had some ups and downs. We hope the ups are on their way," Francona said. "With the shortened spring, we didn't want to send him down yet. Now we had to, because we're leaving. We told him he had a good camp. He's growing up. He's one of those other kids that's growing up right in front of our eyes. It wasn't the [most enjoyable] news for him, but he's going to be the Manny Delcarmen of this year. He'll go back and do it right and come back and help us."

Hansen got the news after firing 1 1/3 shutout innings against the Yankees on Monday.

The Red Sox signed Hansen to a Major League contract right out of college, this after taking him in the first round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

After pitching for the Red Sox in parts of 2005 and 2006, Hansen was relegated to the Minor Leagues for all of last season. He's confident that won't be the case this time.

"Basically [they] said they're proud of what I did this Spring Training, how, basically, I handled myself," Hansen said. "I came in here ready, came in here to compete and they were proud of that. That was what ... I came in here to do."

He will report to Minor League camp on Wednesday.

"I just have to continue what I'm doing, basically, and keep on competing," Hansen said. "That's pretty much what [Francona] said. As long as I stay with the consistency I've been having the last couple of outings, and keep my workout routine going, and basically the routine I have every day."

The Sox made some other roster moves as well, optioning right-hander Lincoln Holdzkom, catcher George Kottaras and first baseman-outfielder Chris Carter to Pawtucket.

Carter, acquired in the trade for Wily Mo Pena last August, made an impression on Francona.

"He's a very good hitter," Francona said. "He's had a good camp. He's an intense kid, a good hitter. He's a pleasure to have around."

The Sox have 35 players left in camp. The club can bring 30 players on Wednesday's team charter to Tokyo.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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