Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Indians third basemen Jack Hannahan continues to make his way back to the starting lineup after a low back injury that has cost him the last nine games.
The third basemen was on the field prior to the Indians-Tigers matchup on Wednesday night, and looked good during batting practice as well as taking grounders.
“Felt a lot better, a lot of the discomfort is gone,” Hannahan said. “We’re on the right track.”
Hannahan was hitting .287 with 3 homers and 18 RBI when the injury took place. More impressive is his .393 (11-for-28) average with runners in scoring position so far in 2012
Manager Manny Acta said yesterday that Hannahan was available in an emergency role, but today upgraded him as just a player off the bench.
“Today was probably his best day,” Acta said. “He looked in extra hitting, and moved around pretty good catching ground balls, he’s available off the bench.”
While out of the lineup, backup Jose Lopez has played well, hitting 8-for-20 (.400) in the current homestand with a homer and a double.
For Hannahan, the important thing was making sure that once he’s back, he’s going to be able to stay on the field. He’s not happy he’s been gone as long as he has, but wants to make sure that’s once he’s back – he’s back for good.
“It took a lot longer than I wanted too, but once you get out there you want to stay out there,” Hannahan said. “It’s gradually gotten better and better everyday, and today is the best it’s felt.”