Tag: Jack Hannahan

4 Moves the Cincinnati Reds Must Make This Offseason

The Cincinnati Reds are wrapping up a disappointing 2014 season, and there are a few things the organization must do this offseason in order to make sure next season goes much better.

Bryan Price’s first season as manager didn’t go as planned. Fans can put the majority of the blame on injuries, but there is no question that the team could use some help even when its healthy.

All eyes will be on the Reds front office this season to see if it trades away one—or more—of its starting pitchers. Four of the team’s current five starters are set to hit the free-agent market after the 2015 season. Trading away a starter could help the club’s current payroll and build for the future. However, the team could try to make a run at things next season by keeping all of the pitchers.

There won’t be any trades or free-agent signings on this list. Until the front office makes it known what it plans to do with its pitchers, fans won’t know if the Reds will be pushing to win next season or go through a bit of a rebuilding phase. That doesn’t mean the club can’t make some key decisions to improve its team regardless of its strategy.

This offseason will be the most important one Cincinnati has had in years. Keep reading to see what the organization needs to do in order to rebound next season.

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Ranking Every Move by the Cincinnati Reds During Busy Offseason

The Cincinnati Reds are looking to win the National League Central and make a deep playoff run in 2013, so it’s time to evaluate the team’s offseason moves.

For the second straight offseason, the team stayed put at the winter meetings. Just like last year, the Reds made some major moves after the meetings wrapped up.

Aroldis Chapman will try to move from closer to the rotation, but that move won’t be evaluated because of his impact as closer. However, it could end up being the biggest decision of the offseason.

Cincinnati had three glaring needs entering the offseason: leadoff man, center fielder/left fielder and adding to the bench. A reliever was also part of the list, but the team had bigger needs to fill.

It’s unclear if third baseman Scott Rolen will return or retire, but it would be a good addition if he accepted a bench role. He’s a clubhouse leader and is still a great defender. Having him mentor Frazier can only help the team. It would rank among the best moves of the offseason if he returns.

Most of the roster stays intact, so the Reds are in great position to make a playoff run in 2013. The offseason moves should only enhance the team’s chances next season.

So what was the most important move of the offseason?

Feel free to make an argument for any moves that should be swapped. 

*Stats are from ESPN.com

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Ranking the 8 Indians That Cleveland Must Get Rid of Before 2013

At 64-91 (.413), the Cleveland Indians are the worst team in the American League, sharing the exciting title with in-division rival Minnesota after Cleveland beat the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. With just seven games remaining, the Tribe is set to finish a season with fewer than 70 wins in a season for the fourth time since 2000.

There are and have been a lot of issues for the Indians throughout the 2012 season. Some of these included: The bullpen, the left-handed lineup, the inability to find a powerful right-handed bat, the unwillingness of ownership and management to make a move to help the team contend, the inability to find leadership to get out of their excessive losing streaks and the inconsistency from players the team was counting on for big things in 2012.

Now, heading into another rebuilding session, the Cleveland Indians have to do some things to shake up the roster. The 40-man roster has a lot of useful names and many more useless names. Highlighted by players set for tremendous pay increases, the Indians have a lot of decisions to make before Opening Day of 2013.

Depending on the direction that management and ownership takes, you could argue with many, many names. I’m taking the path of a complete rebuild, developing talent by acquiring near-ready prospects and making a drastic change to the every-day roster.

While some names could shock you, so has the 20-50 record in the second half. If that hasn’t done the trick, how about the 27-58 record since losing control of first place in the AL Central on June 23 for the final time of the 2012 season.

The fall from grace demands change.

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Cleveland Indians: Whose Return to the Lineup Is More Important?

This could be the strangest article that I have ever written. Two recently returned players for the Cleveland Indians, neither of which have produced tremendously due to their own inability to do so, or due to injuries are the primary focus. Welcome back, Jack Hannahan and Travis Hafner.

Travis Hafner has been pretty solid in limited time this season. He missed 38 games due to a troublesome right knee, which he had surgery on at the end of May.

Outside of the time lost, Hafner has been somewhat productive, posting a .799 OPS, which has dropped significantly since he has hit .133/.235/.333 in four games since his return.

While he has struggled with an overall .231/.370/.429 line, the fact that he does possess some power and he has great on-base skills creates a lasting value to the aging slugger.

Jack Hannahan was fantastic in April, posting a .290/.375/.403 with 14 RBI in 62 at-bats. Since then, Hannahan is hitting just .215/.277/.323 with four doubles, two home runs and six RBI in 93 at-bats.

His defense, which is supposed to be top of the line, is 10th in MLB among third baseman, just below Toronto Blue Jays youngster Brett Lawrie, with a .949 fielding percentage.

Hannahan has done a great job against right-handed pitchers this season, posting a .288/.342/.413 line in 104 at-bats, but has hit just .157/.271/.235 in 51 at-bats against left-handed pitchers.

Both players present solid skills. Hafner was once a top-notch performer, but has struggled to stay healthy since 2007, missing a total of 237 games since the start of the 2008 season. Hannahan, a defensive specialist, has missed 88 games since September of 2008 due to injury. He may struggle to produce due to his inability to stay on the field, as well.

The Indians have to be excited to have both players back, as they provide solid, veteran presence, if nothing else. With the injury to Lonnie Chisenhall, the need to have Hannahan on the 25-man roster was very necessary, but you have to wonder if he could have been the odd man out when Hafner returned, had Chisenhall not suffered the broken bone near his wrist.

For my money, Hafner is the more important return for the Indians. I would have cut Hannahan when Hafner came off of the disabled list if Lonnie Chisenhall was healthy. Hannahan’s defensive skills are solid, but highly overrated when you factor in his hitting inefficiencies.

Hafner is not going to hit 42 home runs and drive in 117 runs ever again, like he did in 2007, but he has hit .265/.367/.443 with 22 doubles, one triple, 20 home runs and 81 RBI in 472 at-bats since the start of the 2011 season.

Even if Hannhan saved 20 runs per season, he can’t produce the number of runs that Hafner can.

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Cleveland Indians: 5 Reasons the 2011 Defense Is Significantly Improved

During the 2010 season, the Cleveland Indians defense was one of the worst in the major leagues.

A combination of injuries and poor play were the main reasons for the terrible infield defense. Add a poor defense to the fact that the majority of the Tribe rotation is made up of ground ball pitchers and you have a recipe for disaster.

Once the Indians’ front office traded third baseman Jhonny Peralta, the position became a gaping hole that none of the Indian’s options were able to fill successfully.

Improving the infield defense became a priority for the Tribe brass during this past offseason. So far, their moves have paid off and the Indians now have one of the most solid defenses during the early days of the 2011 season. Here are 5 reasons for that dramatic improvement.

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Handling the Hot Corner: Jack Hannahan Named Cleveland Indians Third Baseman

His career was at a crossroads, if not a dead end. He never approached the plate or heard his name called over the loudspeakers in a big league ballpark in 2010.

Jack Hannahan, after spending four less than stellar years in Seattle and Oakland, spent 2010 between the Mariners’ and Red Sox‘s Triple-A affiliates. 

Hannahan then accepted a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, with an invitation to spring training due to the uncertainty in the Tribe’s infield. In the end, it paid off as Hannahan was named the Indians‘ opening day third baseman.

Despite Hannahan’s great spring—he batted .375 with a .464 on-base percentage—there was a lot more that factored into manager Manny Acta‘s decision.

The third base competition was a four man race heading into spring training, between Hannahan, Jason Donald, Jayson Nix and Luis Valbuena.

In addition to those four, Cleveland fans were also clamoring for top prospect Lonnie Chisenhall to man the hot corner on opening day, and Jared Goedert was coming off a huge year at Triple-A Columbus.

Acta made it clear early that Chisenhall was going to start the year at Triple-A and Goedert suffered a right oblique strain early, all but ruining his chances. As Nix and Valbuena struggled through the month, Donald seemed likely to acquire the starting spot. Then he broke his left hand and would probably have to start the season on the DL.

That left Hannahan, who was signed mostly for his glove, but his newly refined shortened swing has shown the potential for him to raise his .224 lifetime batting average.

“I struggled a little bit, for at least a year and a half, and now I’m trying to really get back to the type of hitter that I am. It’s just shortening my swing down, driving the ball the other way,” he said.

Even if Hannahan hits as well once the season starts, there’s only one thing Acta told him he needed to do to keep his spot in the lineup daily.

“Just be the good defensive player you are and have quality at-bats,” Acta told him.

The 31-year-old vet doesn’t need to hit the ball out of the park consistently for Cleveland to take another step forward towards contention in 2011, he just needs to help the Tribe’s pitchers who induce a lot of ground balls. Hannahan has always been considered an above-average defender, and that asset will be given a warm welcome at Progressive Field, which the Indians have not had in a while.

Despite entering camp with very little to no expectations, Hannahan has been a pleasant surprise for the Tribe thus far, and has earned himself a return to the majors after his one year hiatus.

Finally knowing where his future will take him, Hannahan can relax.

“It’s just a real sense of relief,” he said.

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