CLEVELAND -- Third baseman Jack Hannahan returned to the Indians' lineup Friday after missing 16 straight games with a strained left calf. The Indians activated Hannahan from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game against the Pirates. To make room for Hannahan, Cleveland optioned left-hander Scott Barnes to Triple-A Columbus.
Hannahan started at third base and batted ninth in the order, going 0-for-3.
"I feel like I've been out forever," Hannahan said. "It's always exciting to get back and start competing back with the guys. I've been feeling a lot better, and I'm just excited to fire it up again."
Hannahan was previously out for 11 games with a back injury before heading to the DL. He played against the White Sox on May 26 and had bruising on his calf the next day. At the time, Hannahan said the injury occurred because he was overcompensating for his ailing back.
Now that he's back, Indians manager Manny Acta wants to be careful with Hannahan to make sure he stays healthy. With designated hitter Travis Hafner still on the DL, the Indians have the luxury of keeping both Lonnie Chisenhall and Jose Lopez on the active roster to ease Hannahan back.
"He's not going to get out there and play every day from the get-go," Acta said. "We're still going to have to be cautious bringing him along. We're just happy to have him back."
Prior to the injuries, Hannahan was having a strong start to the season. Entering Friday, he was hitting .276 with six doubles, three home runs and 18 RBIs in 31 games.
Barnes made four appearances with the Indians during his stint in Cleveland. He didn't allow a single hit in his first three outings (four innings), but he got pounded for five runs in only one-third of an inning Thursday at Cincinnati.
Acta said Barnes was going to be sent down regardless of what happened Thursday after the team acquired reliever Esmil Rogers from Colorado on Tuesday.
"We like Scotty," Acta said. "It's part of the process. ... He's going to be part of the future. I'm sure I'm going to be seeing him again this year."