Hannahan named Indians' third baseman

Hannahan named Indians' third baseman

Hannahan named Indians' third baseman
PHOENIX -- The Indians added third baseman Jack Hannahan over the offseason mainly for his reputation as a sound defender. Hannahan did not disappoint this spring, but he also showed signs of an improved offsensive approach.

On Friday, the Indians rewarded Hannahan's strong spring effort by naming him the club's starting third baseman for Opening Day.

"Jack had a great camp," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "He did a very good job of seizing an opportunity that was in front of him with the playing time that he got. He demonstrated his consistency at third base and his defensive ability over there, as well as putting together some quailty at-bats.

"He really did his part to earn that opportunity."

Hannahan's chances of cracking the Opening Day roster improved when Jason Donald -- the favorite for the third-base role at the onset of Spring Training -- had his left hand broken by a pitch on March 5. Donald remains sidelined and there is currently no established timetable for his return.

With Donald out, Cleveland took a close look at Hannahan, who came into camp on a Minor League contract. He displayed solid defense at all four infield positions and has hit .386 with a .481 on-base percentage through 18 Cactus League games.

Beyond the news of Hannahan's role, Antonetti also noted that veteran Orlando Cabrera would likely open this season as Cleveland's starting second baseman. Cabrera -- signed in February on a one-year contract -- has hit .265 in 13 Cactus League games this spring.