Tag: Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan Will Prove to Be Key Addition for Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays made a big splash on Tuesday as the team added a pair of impact players in Heath Bell and Ryan Hanigan via a three-way trade with Arizona and Cincinnati. 

Though Bell, a three-time All-Star, is the biggest name involved in this deal, Hanigan will prove to be the pivotal name in this transaction. 

Yes, the 33-year-old is coming off a pretty dreadful season offensively as the former Reds catcher batted just .198, which was a career-low by a sizable margin. 

But Hanigan fills a critical void in Tampa Bay as the Rays were clearly looking for an upgrade behind the plate, and the former Rollins College star certainly fits that bill. 

And, after signing a three-year, $10.75 million contract extension earlier this year, Hanigan wasn’t too expensive for the usually conservative Rays.

Until today, the Rays’ best option at catcher was Jose Molina, and though the 38-year-old offers a lot defensively, Hanigan definitely appears to have a much higher ceiling at the plate.

During the last six seasons, Molina’s batted above .250 just once, and given his age, that trend isn’t likely to reverse now.

On the other hand, last season was the first in which Hanigan has failed to eclipse .250 offensively, so assuming 2013 was something of an aberration, he’ll provide a boost for the Rays in that regard.

In addition, even if Joe Maddon opts to use both catchers depending on the opponent, Hanigan‘s presence in the lineup will alleviate at least some of the pressure on James Loney, Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist from the offensive side of the ball. 

The trade brings a much-needed change of scenery for Hanigan, who had effectively been replaced as the Reds’ starting catcher—the club seemed intent on handing the job to Devin Mesoraco, a former first-rounder.

While Mesoraco is far from a proven commodity in the MLB at this stage, the 25-year-old was impressive enough while Hanigan was sidelined twice due to injury in 2013 that the Reds felt comfortable making this deal. 

But Hanigan‘s got the talent to be an impact player for the Rays, who will be looking to build on their postseason appearance this past season, and that’s ultimately why Maddon‘s squad acquired him. 

Just a year ago, Hanigan posted three RBI in four postseason appearances for the Reds, and that’s certainly one reason why Tampa Bay’s confident he’ll bounce back from his injury-plagued 2013 season. 

No, this isn’t the sort of deal that will lift the Rays into the conversation regarding which teams are favored to win the World Series in 2014, but it’s clearly a step in the right direction. 


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Diamondbacks, Reds and Rays Agree to 3-Team Trade

The Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Rays and Cincinnati Reds completed a three-team trade Monday that will send pitching prospects to Cincinnati and Arizona and catcher Ryan Hanigan and reliever Heath Bell to Tampa Bay.

Arizona’s official website confirmed the deal. The Rays will send righty Justin Choate and a player to be named later to the Diamondbacks, while Arizona will send lefty David Holmberg to Cincinnati:

The trade was first reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal:

The two most recognizable names in the deal are Hanigan and Bell, who the Rays hope will return to their past form. Hanigan struggled mightily at the plate last season while playing in a platoon with Devin Mesoraco, hitting a career-low .198/.306/.261 while belting two home runs and 21 RBI.   

While the 33-year-old catcher is mostly known for his defensive acumen, his keen eye at the plate and solid contact metrics had turned him into a solid platoon option over his seven seasons in Cincinnati.

Tampa Bay will now have arguably the best defensive catching platoon in all of baseball. The Rays re-signed 2013 starting catcher Jose Molina earlier this week, and they will now have two catchers who can manage their young staff. Neither Molina, 38, nor Hanigan are everyday catchers at this point, so having both will be a massive boon for Joe Maddon.

Bell, 36, is the latest instance of the Rays attempting to find value in a player a team is desperate to get rid of. Arizona acquired Bell and his hefty salary from the Miami Marlins last winter, but the formerly dominant righty scuffled for the second straight year. He finished with a 4.11 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, blowing nearly half as many saves (seven) as he converted (15).

Bell’s three-year, $27 million deal expires after next season. Bob Nightengale of USA Today that Arizona will have to pay only $500,000 of his $9 million salary, a surprising high-cost move for the usually frugal Rays, offset somewhat by the $4 million still being paid by Miami:

In return, the Diamondbacks will receive Choate, a 22-year-old prospect (he turns 23 on Dec. 31) who spent last season in the Rays organization. Undrafted out of Stephen F. Austin State, he pitched 16 games for the Single-A Hudson Valley Renegades, going 1-3 with a 2.88 ERA and striking out 35 batters over 40.2 innings pitched.

Holmberg, who made a spot start this season for Arizona, was drafted in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox. He was traded to the Diamondbacks as part of the Edwin Jackson deal a year later, and has been working his way through the farm system since.

The 22-year-old lefty went 5-8 with a 2.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 26 starts for Double-A Mobile in 2013. 


Follow Tyler Conway on Twitter:


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Biggest Weaknesses of the Cincinnati Reds Entering the New Year

The Cincinnati Reds won the National League Central in 2012, but the team still has some weaknesses entering the 2013 season.

Coming into this offseason, the leadoff and cleanup spots were the biggest issues with this team. General manager Walt Jocketty re-signed left fielder Ryan Ludwick to fill the No. 4 hole and traded for Shin-Soo Choo to insert at the top of the lineup.

After dealing with two major issues, the Reds still have minor weaknesses they will need to overcome next season.

Moving Aroldis Chapman to the rotation weakens the bullpen and will make it tougher for the team to shut teams down in late innings. Jose Arredondo and Sam LeCure will now face bigger roles, so it may be a struggle at first.

However, the team faces bigger weaknesses than middle relief.


Production from catchers

Behind the plate, Cincinnati had a great defensive combination. Ryan Hanigan is as good as it gets on defense, rookie Devin Mesoraco showed great ability behind the plate and Dioner Navarro did a good job when called upon.

Part of the problem with this lineup was the lack of production on offense from the catchers.

Hitting in the No. 8 spot, Hanigan had a .365 on-base percentage. That’s a great sign, but he took a step back in 2012 despite playing a career-high 112 games. 

The 32-year-old hit at least five home runs with at least 31 RBI in the previous two seasons but managed only two long balls and 24 RBI. He hit only .242 with runners in scoring position, which was over 30 points lower than what he did in 2011.

Mesoraco showed some pop by hitting five home runs, but he only drove in 14 runs. His .212 average kept him off the postseason roster.

Like Hanigan, the rookie struggled in clutch situations. Mesoraco hit only .111 with runners in scoring position in his first season, and four of his five home runs were solo shots.

Navarro hit two home runs with 12 RBI in limited action. He is now with the Chicago Cubs, so Hanigan and Mesoraco will need to step up on offense next season. 

Catchers combined stats: .256 average, 9 HR, 50 RBI (one of the worst stat lines in baseball, according to MLB.com).

There will plenty of chances to drive in runs in 2013, so the production needs to be better.


Outfield defense

Trading former center fielder Drew Stubbs helped upgrade the offense, but the outfield defense is now a major question mark.

Stubbs was a Gold Glove finalist last season. He had a good arm and could get to just about any ball hit near him. He made life easier for Ludwick and right fielder Jay Bruce, who was also a Gold Glove finalist.

Great American Ball Park does have a huge outfield, but the defense will also be tested in road games. 


Choo was not a great defender in right field, so moving him to center will be an adventure. Like Bruce, he has a great arm. However, he is nowhere close to the defender Stubbs was. The team could move Bruce to center for a season until prospect Billy Hamilton gets to the majors, but it doesn’t make sense to mess with a Gold Glove finalist in right field.  

Ludwick is a solid defender, but there will be a lot more extra-base hits falling in the left-center gap without Drew Stubbs next season. 

Chris Heisey has the ability to play great defense in center, so he gives the team options if anyone struggles on offense or gets hurt.

Speed in the outfield shouldn’t be overlooked. Stubbs saved pitchers many runs by tracking down fly balls and keeping balls from dropping in for hits. The corner outfielders will now have to chase down more balls, and it will be interesting to see how Choo adjusts to center field next season.



Cincinnati addressed the team’s biggest needs, so their weaknesses may not keep the team from returning to the postseason.

The club won 97 games with very little offensive production from its catchers. Outfield defense will be exposed in big ballparks, but it can be overcome by a more productive offense.

Look for a better season out of the catchers. If the Reds can get a more consistent offense in 2013, these weaknesses will not keep them from returning to the postseason.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati Reds: Does Ryan Hanigan Have a Future with the Team?

Since making his MLB debut in 2007, Cincinnati Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan has without a doubt been a valuable asset to the Reds organization.

As both a backup catcher and a spot starter, Hanigan has proven himself to be a clutch hitter and a solid defender behind the plate.

Many baseball fans, including me, expected to see Hanigan earn more of a full-time role with the Reds once the recent trade deadline had passed, but Cincinnati elected to hold on to veteran Ramon Hernandez and keep Hanigan in his usual on-again, off-again role.

One has to wonder, with Hernandez playing at a high level and with two hot minor league catching prospects in Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal itching to make their way up to the majors, where exactly Hanigan fits in Cincinnati’s plans for the future.

Hernandez is 35 years old and projected to become a free agent at the season’s end, but the Reds didn’t trade him when given a chance to at the deadline, and that could mean that they intend to bring him back in 2012. After all, there are several Cincinnati pitchers, including emerging star Johnny Cueto, who prefer to pitch to Hernandez due to their familiarity with his catching style. 

Whatever the Reds decide to do with Hanigan down the line, there’s no question that he will still have a future in the league. Catchers (even backups) are remarkably valuable in the MLB, and while he’s not a superstar by any means, Hanigan has shown year after year that he can hold down home plate with the best of them.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati Reds Win in Extras: Did You Catch What Sam LeCure Said?

Sam LeCure turned in the best start of his young career last night, allowing just one run on one hit over six innings. He walked two, struck out eight and left the game with the Reds leading 2-1. However, LeCure would not pick up the win because Nick Masset allowed the Padres to tie it in the eighth.

Cincinnati would come back to win the game thanks to a six-run rally in the 11th, all coming with two outs.

The point that I want to focus on here is the importance of Ryan Hanigan and the obviously strong connection LeCure has with his catcher.

If a pitcher is going to miss the strike zone, he needs to miss down. He needs to trust that the catcher will keep the ball from going to the backstop. This means the catcher has to be prepared to block balls in the dirt, something that Hanigan did repeatedly last night.

Blocking pitches is something that can be seen at the stadium or on television. Even though it is a very under-appreciated part of the game for many fans, it is still a visual occurrence. There is still so much more that goes into a successful pitching performance. Anyone that has been behind the dish knows that there is a lot more to calling a game.

“Hani does such a good job of making me feel like the game is slowing down. He feels like I need to take my time sometimes, so he’ll take a little longer giving the sign,” LeCure said. “I feel really comfortable with him back there.”

The pitcher’s mound can be a very lonely place. It is easy to get rattled, especially for a young pitcher like LeCure. Something so easy like taking a few extra seconds to hang the sign allows the pitcher to take a few extra breaths and calm down. Each pitch needs to have a purpose and the pitcher needs to remember that.

Last night, LeCure and Hanigan seemed to remember it just fine.

Are you in Reds Country?

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati Reds Baseball: Rymon Hernanigan Is on Fire

I have never been a fan of platooning players in baseball. I always liked having a set lineup while giving the starter an occasional day of rest. Dusty Baker has a different idea when it comes to the Reds catching situation, and it has worked like a charm.

The combination of Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez has been more than productive both offensively and defensively. Hanigan catches Bronson Arroyo while Hernandez handles Edinson Volquez. The rest of the time, it usually depends on matchups and health.

Through the first three games of the 2011 season, the dynamic duo has put up some incredible offensive numbers. Here are the statistics (at least five at-bats), along with where they rank against the rest of Major League Baseball.

.750 AVG (1st)
1.500 SLG (2nd)
.769 OBP (1st)
3 HR (2nd)
7 RBI (2nd)
18 TB (T-1st)


Are you in Reds Country?

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati Reds Unsung Heroes Continue to Produce

Sure, they have a possible Triple Crown candidate in Joey Votto—and fellow All-Stars Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen. The pitching staff has been solid, if not spectacular, led by the most consistent pitcher in the majors: Bronson Arroyo.
But the glue that keeps this team together is the bench. They are unsung heroes that have proven to be the WD-40 to the Reds’ machine when it gets a bit rusty. The players that were expected to be afterthoughts have instead been essential to the Reds success.
Dusty Baker has told media members that the team would be lost without them. Votto calls them “essential” to the team’s good fortunes. Here are the unsung heroes of the 2010 Reds.

Begin Slideshow

Ryan Hanigan Is Badly Missed By the Cincinnati Reds

When Ryan Hanigan went on the disabled list with a broken hand on May 29th, it wasn’t something that people in many circles discussed.  

The team was playing so well, so what was there to discuss?

I knew the moment it occurred that the pitching staff would greatly suffer.  

Hanigan is THAT good behind the plate with his handling of the pitching staff, skill in blocking errant pitches, and ability to throw out would-be base stealers.

With Hanigan behind the dish, the Reds team ERA is 3.77.  

With Ramon Hernandez, that figure jumps up to 5.25.  

I like Hernandez, as he has brought over none of the supposed attitude problems he had in Baltimore, but the numbers don’t lie.

Hanigan is also an incredibly patient hitter.  

He makes pitchers work.  

He’s not the .351 hitter that his average indicates, but he’s a high on-base-percentage guy and will make pitchers sweat it out.

Another statistic that is vastly important: the Reds with Hanigan are 30-20.  

Without him? Try 7-10.

I liken him to a Jason Kendall.  

I think Hanigan, in the right situation, can carve himself out an incredibly long career.

The Reds miss him terribly.


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress