Hannahan activated by Reds, in starting lineup

Jack Hannahan will start at first base against the Nationals on Sunday

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

CINCINNATI — The Reds reinstated Jack Hannahan Sunday from the 60-day disabled list and he is in the starting lineup against Washington. Hannahan will start at first base and batting sixth against the Nationals as he makes his first appearance of the season.

Hannahan had surgery on his right shoulder last October. He began a rehab assignment on July 8, playing 12 games total with Single-A Dayton and Triple-A Louisville. Hannahan finished up his stint with Louisville by going 8-for-14. Hannahan, 34, played in 83 games with the Reds last season at first and third base but at this point he’s expected to split time at first base with Brayan Pena as Joey Votto remains on the DL indefinitely with a distal quad strain.

Hannahan took batting practice and infield with the team prior to Saturday’s 1-0 win against the Nationals and was cleared to play by the medical staff.

The Reds optioned relief pitcher Curtis Partch to Louisville to open up a roster spot for Hannahan.

"It really strengthens our bench because for a while we’ve had quite a few of the guys that we originally thought were going to be bench players and platoon guys have been in the lineup pretty regularly," said manager Bryan Price. "Because of that we’ve had younger guys up with Lutzy (Donald Lutz) and (Kristopher) Negron as our bench guys and that’s not really the ideal situation for those guys to be breaking into the big leagues."

Hannahan brings an experienced first baseman back onto the lineup. While he’s seen most of his action in the majors at third base (488 games), he’s also played plenty at first base. That’s not something the Reds could say about the other players who have been filling in at the position in Votto’s absence. Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce can remain at their normal spots at third base and right field, respectively. Pena has played 21 games there this season because of Votto’s injury. Prior to that, Pena had appeared in just four games at first base without a start.

"Now everyone sees Brayan Pena as a first baseman," said Price. "Now everyone — myself included — says he’s a first baseman/catcher. He’s a catcher that’s playing first base, who’s learning to play first base. We had Jay, we had Luddy (Ryan Ludwick) over there taking ground balls. We were almost thinking about putting (pitcher Logan) Ondrusek over there to see if he could handle the task… You’re not going to throw it over his head."

Price was joking about the 6-foot-8 Ondrusek but only to make a point.

"It’s not that these guys will never play first base again," said Price. "Brayan is going to continue to play a lot of first base, but maybe we don’t have to experiment as much with the other guys."