Jack Hannahan had a disappointing first season with the Cincinnati Reds, as the third baseman struggled both at the plate and in the field during the 2013 season. As it turns out, much of those struggles were the result of an injury that the soon-to-be 34 year old suffered during Spring Training a year ago. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon has learned that Hannahan underwent surgery following the conclusion of the 2013 regular season to repair a tear in his labrum.
Hannahan reported to the Reds’ Spring Training complex about a month ahead of the team’s pitchers and catchers. He remains limited in workouts and has yet to appear in a game for the team this spring.
“I’m about four months out and it’s been a slow process. A lot slower than I’d like it to go,” Hannahan said. “It’s progressively getting better. I feel a lot stronger every day.”
Limited to just 83 games in 2013, Hannahan batted just .216/.317/.288 over 162 PA in his first season with the Reds. Considering he was supposed to help lengthen the team’s bench following two solid seasons with the Cleveland Indians, the Reds were severely disappointed with the production they received from Hannahan in 2013. The team had, however, brought him him in on an extraordinarily team friendly deal prior to the season – two years, $2 Million total with a team option for 2015 that would be worth $4 Million (w/ a $2 Million buyout).
Hannahan believes he first hurt his shoulder during Spring Training a year ago, diving for a ball while playing first base. The actual tear itself was not discovered until he underwent a routine MRI following the conclusion of the regular season.
Sheldon notes that the team has not yet set an expectation regarding when Hannahan will be cleared for game action. Depending on how lengthy his delay is it could open the door for Chris Nelson to step in and win the final spot on the team’s bench. Nelson, signed this offseason to a minor league deal, hit .227/.273/.327 in 227 PA with three organizations in 2013 (Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels) and would provide some added defensive versatility to the Reds bench. He’s hardly the only option in camp with the team should Hannahan’s recover linger into the season, but Nelson is likely the favorite to see playing time in such an event.