Hanigan not worried about finding time
Backup catcher wants to focus on approach, help big league club
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Even with the talk late last season that he might be considered a potential everyday catcher for the Reds in 2009, Ryan Hanigan still understood the situation."I knew they were going to get a catcher," Hanigan said. "That wasn't a surprise. Once I knew they weren't going to bring [Paul] Bako or Javy [Valentin] back, they had to get somebody."
That somebody was Ramon Hernandez, a veteran and former All-Star catcher that was acquired in a trade from the Orioles for Ryan Freel. Hernandez is making $8 million this season and someone making those kind of garbanzos won't be riding the bench.Hanigan is set to be the Reds' No. 2 catcher. He isn't worried about getting his time behind the plate. "Ramon has been great so far. We get along well and feed off each other," Hanigan said. "We're all on the same team. That's how I look at it. I will get myself ready and hopefully we both play well and both help the team." The 28-year-old Hanigan was batting .324 in 75 games at Triple-A Louisville last season when he was promoted on Aug. 10 after David Ross was designated for assignment. Hanigan did well for himself by batting .271 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 31 games. He also demonstrated strong defensive skills and solid handling of the pitching staff. Both of the Reds pitching staff's complete games last season came with Hanigan behind the plate. Now with a total of 36 Major League games of experience and a couple of big league camps behind him, this year is a little different. "You have to establish a little more leadership," Hanigan said. "Now that I know these pitchers and know what they're doing, we can fine-tune the things they want to work on and really get into their heads to what they're specifically trying to get done. That's the biggest thing. We're here for them and to help get them into shape. The more experience you get, the more comfortable you feel. Me personally, I feel comfortable. I'm confident and ready to get in shape."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.