GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- They share the same position, just like their first and last initials. As for the playing time given this season to Reds catchers Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan? "It'll probably be about the same," manager Dusty Baker said on Monday. Hernandez had 313 at-bats last season, compared to Hanigan's 203. However, Hanigan also missed 38 games over six weeks with a fractured left thumb.
Both catchers benefited from the split duties. Hanigan set career highs by batting .300 with five home runs and 40 RBIs. Hernandez, who was re-signed to a one-year, $3 million contract in November, batted .297 with seven homers and 48 RBIs and was mostly successful at preserving his surgically repaired left knee. "They were both very productive," Baker said. "They're both strong and caught well, threw well. That's about as good of a tandem as there is in baseball. And they get along well, which helps." The Reds organization is deep at catcher with Hernandez and Hanigan joined in camp by veteran Corky Miller and first-round Draft picks Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal. "Most of our catchers, other than Grandal, have seen most of these guys throw in our system and organization," Baker noted. "They're not going to start the season off not knowing somebody. It's the beauty of keeping the same team together."