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Indians: Lonnie Chisenhall Era Set to Begin in 2013

Indians decline to offer veteran Jack Hannahan a contract officially opening the door for Chisenhall to start at third base.

 

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The Cleveland Indians have declined to offer veteran third baseman Jack Hannahan a contract for the 2013 season and will allow him to walk away in free agency this winter. Hannahan joined the Indians prior to their surprising 2011 campaign as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training. He quickly impressed throughout the spring and earned a spot on the club’s opening day roster. Hannahan proved to be a skilled defensive player and provided the club with some excitement at the plate as well. The Indians went into the offseason fully expecting a competition between Hannahan and Lonnie Chisenhall this spring for the starting job at the hot corner, but Hannahan again came out the winner and went on to hit .287 with three homers over the first 30 games of the 2012 campaign. A nagging lower-back injury would hamper his production for the rest of the year and he went just .180 for the club across 59 games the rest of the way.

With Hannahan out of the picture, the job at the hot corner now belongs to Lonnie Chisenhall who came out of the gates swinging batting .268 with five homers in 43 games with the club last season. The only real scare for Chisenhall came in June when he suffered a broken right forearm when he was struck by a fastball hurled by Orioles reliever Troy Patton. Chisenhall recovered quickly from the injury and came back strong, making a case for himself in September that proved strong enough for the Tribe to decide that they no longer need Hannahan to provide them a safety net at third. The Indians will likely use either Jason Donald or Mike Aviles as a back-up at third next season, both men are expected to compete for the job this spring.

 

 

By Robert Gonzalez
Cleveland Indians Correspondent

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