Sunday, January 29, 2017

Nice Knowing You, Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan has signed with the Phillies.
Before the 2015 season, the Red Sox acquired catcher Ryan Hanigan from the Padres in exchange for Will Middlebrooks.  It had been a roller coaster offseason for Hanigan coming off a .218/.318/.324 season with the Rays.  He was a part of a three team deal involving the Rays, Padres, and Nationals in which Wil Myers went to the Padres and Trea Turner to the Nationals.  That same day, Hanigan was sent to the Red Sox.  Middlebrooks's stock had dropped considerably.  Hanigan was never much with a bat, but he had a good defensive reputation.
Hanigan started Opening Day with the Red Sox in 2015 and was expected to be the primary catcher for the Red Sox as Christian Vazquez underwent Tommy John surgery.  Unfortunately, injuries limited Hanigan to 54 games and led to Blake Swihart getting pushed to the Majors.  Hanigan ended up hitting .247/.337/.328 with two home runs and 16 RBIs.  He threw out 33% of attempted base stealers, slightly more than the league average.  He made four errors for a .993 fielding percentage.
After a reasonably successful rookie season, Swihart was expected to be the starter in 2016 and Hanigan was to be the backup.  Injuries struck again though and Hanigan made it into just 34 games.  Catching was a big problem for the Red Sox due to injuries and poor play by Swihart, Vazquez, and Hanigan.  Sandy Leon ended up the primary catcher.  Hanigan hit just .171/.230/.238 with one home run and 14 RBIs.  He was slightly worse than league-average in caught-stealing percentage in 2016, but he did not make a single error.  He did have 18 passed balls though, likely as a result of catching knuckleballer Steven Wright.
With Vazquez, Swihart, and Leon all still under contract for the Red Sox, there was no room left for Hanigan.  He was allowed to leave as a free agent and joins Red Sox teammate Clay Buchholz in Philadelphia.  In two years, Hanigan hit .219/.298/.294 with three home runs and 30 RBIs.

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