GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There is a reason that backup third baseman Jack Hannahan has yet to play a game for the Reds this spring. It surfaced on Friday that Hannahan had offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
The procedure was performed by team medical director Tim Kremchek a week after the 2013 season ended. Hannahan reported to camp a month early to begin a throwing program.
"I'm about four months out, and it's been a slow process. A lot slower than I'd like it to go," Hannahan said. "It's progressively getting better. I feel a lot stronger every day."
Signed by the Reds to a two-year, $2 million contract with a $4 million club option in December 2012, the shoulder injury might explain why Hannahan struggled to produce at the plate and throw in the field.
Hannahan, who turns 34 on March 4, batted only .216 with one home run and 14 RBIs in 83 games last season.
"I did it close to this time last year in Spring Training," Hannahan explained about his injury. "I was playing first base and dove for a ball. I felt a twinge in my shoulder."
Hannahan hadn't had an MRI exam on his shoulder until one after the season revealed a tear. Not knowing the severity of his injury, he simply stretched his shoulder before games and did his best to heat it up.
"Nobody feels 100 percent throughout a baseball season of 162 games," Hannahan said. "There are aches and pains. Every baseball player goes out and does the best they can. As far as playing third base, it was a lot different figuring out how to get a ball across the infield. Coming into this spring, swinging feels a lot better. I feel like I can stay through a baseball and there is still some discomfort throwing."
Hannahan has been able to take extra batting practice and ground balls to get himself ready, but there isn't a target date for him to play in the Cactus League.
"He's still having to really build up the throwing portion of the recovery," manager Bryan Price said. "That's typically is the biggest challenge in a shoulder surgery rehab. He's progressing. I know he'd like it to go a lot faster. The shoulder, in particular, takes time."