Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Ryan Hanigan faces old team, Reds

CINCINNATI — Memories?

For sure.

Ryan Hanigan has tons from playing parts of seven seasons in the majors with the Reds, the first 12 of his pro career in the Cincinnati organization until being traded to the Rays in December, and now coming back as a visitor starting tonight.

"I'm excited," he said. "It'll be fun. I've got a lot of memories there, a lot of good experiences."

He got his first big-league hit at the Great American Ball Park, dashing in from the bullpen across the field — "I don't know how smooth that was" — straight to the on-deck circle, then lashing the first pitch he saw for a double in a September 2007 game.

He hit his first homer there the next August, in his first game after being called back up; caught the second of Homer Bailey's no-hitters there; clinched playoff berths there.

"I was wearing red for a long time," Hanigan said.

Motivation?

Some.

Hanigan, 33, understands why the Reds traded him, that they wanted to make Devin Mesoraco their primary catcher and weren't going to pay Hanigan big bucks to be a backup. Plus, getting traded to a contending team such as the Rays, then getting a three-year, $10.75 million deal (with a 2017 option), made for a pretty good outcome.

"I get it," Hanigan said. "I've been around long enough to see these type of things happen. They treated me well over there. It's not like I'm (ticked) off or anything."

But, still …

"I don't want to be vindictive or anything like that, but, yeah, you want to go back and play well," he said. "You always want to play well, but there's a little more when you're playing against a team you played for for a long time. So there's a little bit of that going on. But at the end of the day, I just want to win the game, win the series and enjoy the experience."

Though Hanigan is handling it well, former teammate Bronson Arroyo said the Reds will regret trading him. "I was a bit surprised," said Arroyo, a former Hernando High standout now with Arizona. "He wasn't making a whole lot of money — they didn't want to pay him $2 (million) to $3 million. To let a guy like that go, I think over the long haul you definitely will feel the impact."

An advantage?

Maybe.

Though it will be a little different coming in as the enemy (for example, he has never been inside the visitors clubhouse), Hanigan — who likely will start Saturday and Sunday — is certainly going to be familiar with the ballpark and the Reds players.

"I think I'll feel comfortable playing the game," he said. "Obviously I've got a little inside track on some of the pitchers and hitters, so the scouting report will probably be a short one."

The Reds pitchers, and former pitching coach now manager Bryan Price, still rave about the job he did.

"A lot of our success from a pitching perspective came from the job Ryan did with our pitching staff," Price said this week. "Our guys liked to throw to him. … He could make adjustments, call the right pitch. There's something special about that. He has a very good rapport with the pitching staff."

Hanigan is still close with some Reds pitchers, including Bailey, who will present him with a watch commemorating that second no-hitter. But the relationship will be different this weekend, especially as Hanigan stands in the batters box wearing gray.

"I know how their ball moves, I can tell you that," he said.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]ay.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

Comments
Raysí Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Raysí Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays RHP Chris Archer goes into tonight's start against the Twins with no trouble moving on from his messy Saturday performance against the Phillies that included arguably the worst inning of his career."It's already gone," Archer said Wednesday...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Memorable off day for Raysí Ryan Yarbrough

Memorable off day for Raysí Ryan Yarbrough

Rays rookie LHP Ryan Yarbrough has enjoyed everything about his first major-league experience, from pitching in the games to traveling in top-notch style to getting to play in front of family and friends to seeing his first paycheck.And then the Lake...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

ST. PETERSBURG — In the end, Alex Colome got the three outs to save the game, the day and the stomach linings of his bosses from further deterioration, so in theory that should be what mattered most Wednesday.And the fact that he was smiling in...
Published: 04/18/18
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 4-2 Wednesday win

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 4-2 Wednesday win

Alex Colome's ninth-inning dramatics took the focus, but the work of newly corn-rowed RHP Chaz Roe in the seventh (three Ks) and LHP Jose Alvarado (one K, two infield outs) was textbook, and showed how the bullpen can work.RELATED: Whew. Alex Colome ...
Published: 04/18/18
Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

ST. PETERSBURG — Even before they lost several of the hitters they were relying most on to injuries, the Rays did not exactly have a lineup built on intimidation.Their own owner said opening day that he expected them to rank among the least pro...
Published: 04/18/18
Rays Baldelli makes a key catch

Rays Baldelli makes a key catch

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli was all smiles Wednesday morning, happy to play a role through social media in reuniting a lost dog and its owner."I feel really good about how this worked out," Baldelli said.REUNITED! Thank you everyone for spreading the w...
Published: 04/18/18
For starters: Rays vs. Rangers, with Faria on the hill

For starters: Rays vs. Rangers, with Faria on the hill

UPDATE, 12:01: Cash said Brad Miller (groin) got through his rehab game with the Stone Crabs well last night playing first and will play second tonight, with the likely plan to be off Thursday and rejoin the Rays Friday. … With 3B Matt Duffy on...
Published: 04/18/18
Rays, Chirinos fall to Rangers, 7-2

Rays, Chirinos fall to Rangers, 7-2

ST. PETERSBURG — For three outings, rookie Yonny Chirinos had been stellar in making a case to join the Rays' starting rotation, not allowing a single run in the first 141/3 innings of his major-league career.That perfection came to an inevitab...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Rays journal: Rays play it safe, put Matt Duffy on DL with hamstring injury

Rays journal: Rays play it safe, put Matt Duffy on DL with hamstring injury

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Duffy is back on the disabled list.The Rays third baseman, who missed all of last season with an Achilles tendon injury, was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday after leaving Monday's game in the first inning with t...
Published: 04/17/18