Sometimes it takes a player a long time to be in the right place at the right time, but that appears to be the case with Jack Hannahan. The veteran third baseman has seemingly found a home in Cleveland, and he's off to the best start of his career.
Hannahan's two-run double Tuesday capped a three-run, fifth-inning rally that helped carry the Indians to a 4-3 win over Kansas City. Hannahan has been one of the offensive ringleaders for the Indians, who have won nine of their first 15 games.
Hannahan was 2-for-3 Tuesday and is now hitting .364. He's also been the team's best clutch hitter. With runners in scoring position, he is hitting .636 (7-for-11). With two outs and runners in scoring position, Hannahan is hitting .750 (6-for-8).
"I like him because he gives you a professional at bat," manager Manny Acta said. "He's gotten a lot of huge hits for us this year. He's been around, and there's nothing like experience."
Hannahan, 32, won the third base job in spring training over youngster Lonnie Chisenhall, who was sent to Class AAA Columbus to continue his development. There's no question that Chisenhall is Cleveland's third baseman of the future, but Hannahan is the third baseman of the present.
Indians officials like Hannahan's glove even more than his bat, especially with a pitching staff filled with sinkerball pitchers. Hannahan was the starter at third base for the first half of last season, and he played Gold Glove-caliber defense. So far this year, however, Hannahan's bat has overshadowed his glove, and it's helped the Indians to get off to a solid start.
Choo is day-to-day with hamstring injury
--RF Shin-Soo Choo was removed from Tuesday's game in the eighth inning due to a tight left hamstring. "He's got some mild tightness in there. He'll be evaluated (Wednesday). He's day-to-day for now," manager Manny Acta said after the game.
--INF Jason Donald played left field for the final two innings of Tuesday's game. It was Donald's first career appearance in the outfield, a move necessitated by RF Shin-Soo Choo having to leave the game due to a strained left hamstring.
--SS Asdrubal Cabrera rejoined the Indians after missing the previous six games as he returned to his home in Venezuela following the death of his grandfather. "We were 4-2 without him, but we're better with him," manager Manny Acta said. Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a walk in Tuesday's win over the Royals.
--CF Michael Brantley, who is hitting .196 with a .274 on-base percentage, did not start Tuesday because of a sore right wrist. Brantley appeared as a defensive replacement, and he should be back in the lineup Wednesday night, manager Manny Acta said.
--2B Jason Kipnis hit in the leadoff spot Tuesday, replacing CF Michael Brantley, who was given a day off due to a sore wrist. It was Kipnis' first career start as a leadoff man at the major league level, and he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch.
--OF Johnny Damon, who signed a free agent deal with the Indians last week, continues to work out at the team's facility in Goodyear, Ariz. Acta said there is no timetable for when Damon will join the Indians, but the next step will be for him to play some games at Class AAA Columbus.
BY THE NUMBERS: 9 -- Walks drawn by Indians hitters Tuesday night. It's the third time they have drawn nine or more walks in a game this season and the eighth time they have drawn six or more walks.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We had our chances to score more than we did, but we won the game, that's what counts." -- Manager Manny Acta, after the Indians had eight hits, nine walks and a hit batter but could only manage four runs, leaving 13 men on base, in a 4-3 win over Kansas City.
Roster ReportMEDICAL WATCH:
--CF Michael Brantley (sore right wrist) did not start April 24, though he appeared as a defensive replacement. He should be back in the lineup April 25, manager Manny Acta said.
--OF Grady Sizemore (back surgery in March 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4. He was cleared to begin baseball activities in late April, and he might be able to return as soon as he is eligible.
--RHP Carlos Carrasco (Tommy John surgery in September 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26. He might miss the entire season.