Indians place Hafner on disabled listInjuries have sidelined Pronk again. The Cleveland Indians placed designated hitter Travis Hafner on the disabled list on Wednesday. The Sykeston native has been slowed by soreness in his right shoulder. Hafner had offseason surgery on that shoulder after injuries limited him to just 57 games last season for the Tribe.
By: By The Associated Press and Sun staff, The Jamestown Sun
Injuries have sidelined Pronk again.
The Cleveland Indians placed designated hitter Travis Hafner on the disabled list on Wednesday.
The Sykeston native has been slowed by soreness in his right shoulder. Hafner had offseason surgery on that shoulder after injuries limited him to just 57 games last season for the Tribe.
“He’s been having some soreness and a little fatigue,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We’ve noticed it in his swing the last three or four days. We don’t think it’s anything serious.”
Hafner is hitting .270 with four homers and eight RBI in 17 games so far in 2009.
He will see Dr. James Andrews next week in Alabama. Andrews performed the offseason surgery on the shoulder.
Hafner, one of the most feared sluggers in baseball before the injury, batted .197 with five homers and 24 RBI last season. He was on the DL from May 26-Sept. 8.
The Indians will take a cautious approach with Hafner, who did not comment on the latest setback.
“We want to have the best lineup out there we can (for the rest of the season),” Wedge said. “If that means we have to do this now for the next couple of weeks and have him for the next 4½ months after that, I’ll take it. Hopefully, this is just a two-week thing.”
Wedge said the decision was made after talking with Hafner, hitting coach Derek Shelton and head trainer Lonnie Soloff in recent days.
“It just wasn’t the same swing when he’s healthy and snapping the bat through the strike zone,” Wedge said.
The Indians brought Hafner along slowly in spring training. He struggled in exhibition games, but there were times his swing has looked better. Overall, Wedge has been encouraged by Hafner’s production in the first month of the season.
“One thing we should all feel good about is we know it’s still in there,” Wedge said. “There were a lot of questions about that, which was unfortunate for him. He’s proven that already. He’s done a pretty good job for us.”
From the 2004-2006 seasons, Hafner batted .308 and averaged 34 homers with 111 RBI. His best season came in ‘06 when he hit .308 with 42 homers and 117 RBI despite missing the last month because of a broken hand.
Hafner’s numbers fell off in 2007, but he still had a productive season, batting .266 with 24 homers and 100 RBI.
The Indians rewarded Hafner with a contract extension following his big season in 2006. He’s signed through 2012 with a club option for 2013.
Hafner will make $11.5 million this season and $11.5 million in 2010. He will earn $13 million in 2011 and again in 2012 and is due to make $13 million in 2013. Hafner will be paid $2.75 million if the Indians don’t pick up the option.
Left-hander Rich Rundles was called up from Columbus to take Hafner’s roster spot, giving the Indians a 14-man pitching staff. Rundles will likely be sent back down before the Indians open a three-game series in Detroit on Friday. Cleveland used five relief pitchers in Tuesday’s 9-8 win over Boston, leaving the bullpen short-handed.
Rundles is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in seven appearances in Columbus.
The Indians played Wednesday night’s game with a two-man bench — outfielder Trevor Crowe and infielder Tony Graffanino. Backup catcher Kelly Shoppach started at DH Wednesday
The Indians could make a series of roster moves as early as Thursday, which is an off-day for the team. Outfielder David Dellucci, who has been on the DL all season with a calf injury, could be activated this weekend. Dellucci is on a minor league rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Columbus.
Outfield prospect Matt LaPorta, acquired in the trade that sent pitcher CC Sabathia to Milwaukee last season, is another candidate to be called up. LaPorta is batting .368 with five homers and 14 RBI in 19 games at Columbus.