Jack Hannahan is Our New Backup Middle Infielder


With Adrian Beltre coming off the DL today, the Mariners opted to designate Chris Woodward for assignment, rather than optioning Jack Hannahan to triple A. At first glance this is a bit of an odd move, as Woodward is our only real backup middle infielder, and Hannahan has options left, while Woodward didn’t.

Hannahan is a great defensive third base man, and clearly a better hitter than Chris Woodward, but he has limited experience at other positions – specifically shortstop and second base.

I like this move. As Dave over at USS Mariner explained today, Hannahan is probably the type of player that would do well with a move to one of the middle infield positions. Now he was suggesting he gets some reps there in the minor leagues, but it looks like he’s going to be getting that chance at the big league level.

Now, we know how good Hannahan is at the hot corner. In 18 games with the M’s, he’s already posted a 5.0 UZR. That’s phenomenal. So which different types of skills does it take to play second base? The one thing that comes to mind is range. Jack has a decent amount of experience playing second base in the minors, and there’s really no reason to think he doesn’t have the range to at least play decent defense there.

He doesn’t have any past experience at shortstop to speak of, but with his excellent hands, he would really only need decent range to be a solid backup option there, and I think he has that. Should be interesting to see how Don Wakamatsu uses him. As for Woodward, he’ll probably clear waivers and end up back in triple A.

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