It's hard to believe that with two young, major league-ready catchers in Blake Swihart and Christian Vasquez, the Red Sox will hold on to 35-year-old Ryan Hanigan. Following a season where he hit .247 with 2 homers and 16 RBI in 54 games, Hanigan is fighting for the starting spot on Opening Day to catch presumably David Price.
But there is plenty of value to Ryan Hanigan.
Despite his below-average batting average, Hanigan is an on-base machine with a career OBP of .352. He will go 0-2 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored in a game any day, and oddly enough, I'm okay with it. Because he plays a very good defensive game behind the dish, and can really handle a staff, Ryan Hanigan will never be a problem for the Sox.
Since Christian Vasquez missed last season with Tommy John surgery, Ryan Hanigan will provide a veteran Vasquez-type player until Christian is ready to come up and play. And at 35, Hanigan can be a very good mentor for Vasquez, and could help Blake Swihart as he works to improve his game defensively.
Anyone remember how BAD Rick Porcello was last year? After a brief DL-stint and some film-watching and mechanic-tweaking from Ryan Hanigan, Porcello was able to turn his season around and had a 3.53 ERA after the All-Star Break after a 5.90 ERA going into the break.
Like I said before, Hanigan can handle a staff. He's well respected in the clubhouse and the pitchers listen to him. He's also caught David Price before in Tampa, so him being there could provide DP with a sense of comfort as he tries to ease in to life in the Boston market.