08/20/12 10:05 PM ET
Hannahan seeking consistency to snap slump
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
Shortly before heading to the indoor batting cage at Safeco Field before Monday's game, Hannahan discussed his four-month skid. The third baseman cited inconsistent playing time, less action against lefty pitchers, team-wide offensive issues and bad luck as possible explanations.
"It's a good question," Hannahan said. "That's what I've been working on. I think I've always been a player that, when I play consistently, I produce. When I came back from the [back] injury [in mid-June], I was in kind of a platoon situation where I'd play a couple days and sit a couple days.
"And when an offense doesn't produce like it should, you tend to try too hard. You start pressing. When I came back from my injury, I was hitting the ball hard, I was having good at-bats, I just wasn't getting hits. Whenever you do that, you tend to try harder, which is probably the worst thing you can do."
Hannahan (216 at-bats) had the most playing time at third base, entering Monday, but he has split time at various points with Jose Lopez, Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Donald and Brent Lillibridge. Overall, the lefty-hitting Hannahan has posted a .222 average with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 79 games for the Indians this season.
Last season, Hannahan hit .250 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 110 games for Cleveland, and he finished with a flourish. The third baseman -- known mostly for his strong defense -- hit .368 over his final 25 games.
Hannahan seemed to pick up where he left off at the start of this year, hitting .364 in his first 13 games. Since then, however, Hannahan hit at a .188 clip over his last 66 games entering Monday. He had a .175 average in 48 games since returning from his lower back injury and a .100 mark over his past 10 games.
"I think a lot of it is just trying to do too much," Hannahan said. "I'm trying to get back to basics. It's been frustrating to not be able to get back to it. But, it's just baseball. Sometimes you hit balls at people and they don't fall in. It's important not to get too high or too low and just keep battling through it."
Acta sticking with deep bullpen through road trip
SEATTLE -- Indians manager Manny Acta plans on waiting to see how his pitching staff holds up throughout the current series in Seattle before determining whether to return to a typical seven-man bullpen.
Right now, Cleveland is carrying eight relievers due to the team's recent rotation issues.
"There's a chance that, once we go through this series, we make changes," Acta said on Monday. "It all depends on the day-to-day [results]. This series could change things up, depending on how our bullpen is used."
The Indians shifted to an eight-man bullpen in the midst of the club's 11-game losing streak that ran from July 27-Aug. 7. Entering Monday's game against the Mariners, Cleveland was on a five-game losing streak that has included more rotation problems.
Through six games on the current nine-game trip through Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle, Indians starters have combined to go 1-4 with a 6.61 ERA. Dating back to July 27, Cleveland's rotation has gone 4-14 with a 7.73 ERA, which is the highest ERA in the Majors over that time period.
The 113 innings logged by Tribe starters since July 27 are the fewest in the American League over that span. As a result, Cleveland's bullpen has piled up 75 1/3 innings in that same stretch, representing the third-highest total in the Majors.
"It goes all the way back to the first losing streak," Acta said of his eight-man bullpen. "The guys were overworked because of the lack of innings from the starters. It's something that, a lot of times, people don't understand that it's not corrected overnight or in one day. It takes a toll."
Quote to note
"You can ask anyone in the bullpen. I give it back to fans all the time. This one just got caught on camera."
--Indians closer Chris Perez, on his recent incident with an A's fan
Indians manager Manny Acta said on Monday that lefty Rafael Perez (on the 60-day disabled list due to a left lat issue) suffered an ankle injury in his latest Minor League rehab outing on Aug. 11. Perez has not been able to pitch off a mound since the latest setback.
Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin (on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow injury) is scheduled to have his arm examined by specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The Indians will provide an update after the meeting.
According to STATS LLC, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (60 RBIs and 23 stolen bases, entering Monday) is one of four players in the Majors this season with at least 60 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. The others are Mike Trout, Ryan Braun and Starlin Castro.