Reds activate Ryan Hanigan

CINCINNATI -- Catcher Ryan Hanigan was off the disabled list and back in the starting lineup Friday for the Cincinnati Reds, who took another step closer to getting their lineup intact.

They expect to get there on Sunday when left fielder Ryan Ludwick -- out since opening day with a shoulder injury -- rejoins the team at the end of his rehab assignment.

Hanigan had been sidelined since July 11 because of a sprained left wrist. He was activated before the start of a series on Friday night against the San Diego Padres.

Catcher Corky Miller went on the DL with a bruised right thigh, injured during a collision at the plate on Wednesday.

It's been a rough year for Hanigan, who has been limited by injuries to 46 games. He was on the disabled list previously with a strained oblique and a sore thumb. He was batting .193 with two homers and 14 RBIs.

Hanigan rested for eight or nine days after the All-Star break, giving the wrist time to heal, then aggravated it by trying to do too much.

"I pushed it a little too quickly," Hanigan said. "That's my fault, for sure. I wanted to get back."

The Reds decided to activate him rather than send him on a rehab stint to work on his swing. Hanigan has taken batting practice the past few days without a problem.

Manager Dusty Baker isn't sure what he'll get from Hanigan at the plate.

"I don't know," Baker said. "I've seen guys do well without a rehab stint. He wasn't exactly hot when he went down.

"We just have to do the best we can and hopefully he's ready."

The Reds also are planning to activate left fielder Ryan Ludwick, whose minor league rehab stint ends on Sunday. Ludwick tore cartilage in his right shoulder while sliding into third base on opening day.

Ludwick couldn't take batting practice for three months, so his swing and timing are off. He's only 4 of 36 (.111) with one homer in 11 games on his rehabilitation stint.

The Reds' offense has struggled lately, so Baker will have a challenge trying to work Ludwick into the lineup.

"I'll see what kind of shape he's in," Baker said. "We'll see what kind of timing he has, how his legs feel. We need some clutch hitting, some RBIs."

The Reds will still be missing top starter Johnny Cueto and left-handed set-up specialist Sean Marshall, both of whom have missed most of the season.

Marshall went on the disabled list May 24 with a sore pitching shoulder. Cueto has been on the disabled list three times with soreness in the back of his pitching shoulder.


Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay