Alen Hanson was out of the lineup the last three days in Bradenton after committing three errors in Sunday’s game. Hanson has ten errors on the year, and that number could easily be much higher, as some errors were ruled hits. He will return to the lineup tonight, playing shortstop and batting leadoff.
The shortstop was held out of the last three games to concentrate on his defense. He worked on simple fielding drills, only focusing on fielding the ball without throwing it. That’s something he was doing at different times in Spring Training, with the focus being funneling the ball to his body to allow him to set up for an accurate throw to first base.
The days off were also meant to give Hanson time to clear his head. Aside from the poor defense, he has also been struggling offensively. His defensive struggles look to be more of a mental issue, as the majority of the plays he’s missing are routine plays. He has also carried the struggles over to the plate, hitting for a .191/.224/.255 line in 47 at-bats.
Pirates infield coordinator Gary Green is also in town today, arriving this morning. Hanson will most likely work closely with Green, continuing taking drills at short to get back in the groove of fielding the ball correctly. Green will have a lot of work to do, as Chris Lashmet, Eric Avila, and Dan Gamache have also been struggling defensively this year.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Hanson back in the lineup. Next week or so will be telling?