600 games in, Hannahan trying to get better
CINCINNATI -- Saturday was a day for Jack Hannahan to make a rare appearance in Cincinnati's starting lineup --and to reflect on how he got there. The 34-year-old Hannahan appeared in his 600th Major League game when he started at first base against the Braves.
"I had friends ask me in the offseason if I planned to go back [for Spring Training]," Hannahan said. "It was never a question for me. I'm still trying to get better every year and, in some ways, I feel like I'm still improving."
Offseason right shoulder surgery put Hannahan on the disabled list until July 27. Saturday was his fifth start since being activated.
Reds manager Bryan Price said Hannahan has worked hard to be ready for his opportunities to play. His reputation is as a solid defensive corner infielder, and Hannahan was a full-time starter for the A's and Mariners in 2008-09 and the Indians in 2011-12.
"There are a lot of players in every organization and I am very glad for [A's general manager] Billy Beane giving me my first opportunity in Oakland," Hannahan said. "When I got to Cleveland, I was done looking in the rearview mirror. I had confidence in my ability to play every day and get the job done."
Hannahan is no longer playing every day, but he has adjusted to pinch-hitting and starting on occasion.
"I've done a better job of being ready with experience," Hannahan said. "In the American League, you might have a stretch of 15 to 20 games where you don't play. In the National League, it's different. You need to be ready to perform every day. I take pride in never being surprised."