Designated hitter Travis Hafner will have surgery on his right knee and is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks.
Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff related Wed. that Hafner would have an arthroscopic procedure to repair fraying and irritation in his right meniscus. Hafner was placed on the 15-day DL before Wednesday’s game against Kansas City.
Hafner, who will turn 35 on June 3, is making $13 million in the last season of a 4-year, $57 million deal. The Indians hold a club option for next season worth $13 million and a $2.75 million buyout. This is the 6th trip to the DL in 5 seasons for Hafner. Three of the DL stints have been as a result of a right shoulder injury, which he had surgery on following the 2008 season.
The loss of their cleanup hitter is more unpleasant news for the Indians, who fell out of 1st place in the American League Central for the 1st time since April 22 after losing to Kansas City on Tuesday night. Catcher Carlos Santana is on the 7-day DL with a concussion and Asdrubal Cabrera returned Tuesday after missing 4 games with a hamstring injury. Cabrera was the DH on Wednesday, but was back at his usual shortstop position on Thursday.
Third baseman Jack Hannahan, who missed 11 games with a back injury, returned for one game but strained his calf and is on the 15-day disabled list. Catcher Lou Marson, who serves as Santana’s backup, hasn’t played since Sunday when he was hit in the face by a pitch Sunday in Chicago. Marson has a gash on the inside of his mouth that needed 3 stitches to close.
Hafner, the Indians’ cleanup hitter, ran in the outfield and took batting practice before Tues. night’s game and chief Manny Acta stated that he would be available to pinch-hit.
“Despite feeling superb while he was hitting, it was causing him symptoms when he was running,” Soloff said. “His feedback was if he altered how he ran he might feel better, but at this point we don’t want Travis to compensate and end up in a worse position. This is the careful action to take for him.”
The surgical treatment will be done at the Cleveland Clinic.
“It’s wear and tear,” Soloff said. “He doesn’t recall any one instance that flared it up. We were hopeful that rest and medicine may resolve his symptoms.”
Left-hander Scott Barnes has been recalled from AAA Columbus and should be used out of the bullpen. He’s 0-2 with a 3.81 ERA in 11 games at Columbus. He has struck out 30, walked 12 and allowed 12 earned runs in 28 1/3 innings. He has got a WHIP of 1.02, and the opposition is hitting .175 against him.
Hafner makes his 6th trip to the disabled list in the last 5 years and 8th in his career. He is hitting .242 (32-for-132) with 14 runs, 6 doubles, one triple, 6 homers and 23 RBI. He has got a .380 on-base percentage and .439 slugging percentage.
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