Hafner's shoulder not ready but Barfield returns to Indians
The Indians also shut down left-hander Aaron Laffey with what trainer Lonnie Soloff said was elbow inflammation and will send right-hander Jake Westbrook, recovering from Tommy John surgery, to see a hip specialist on Thursday.
Bothered by a weak right shoulder, Hafner hit only .217 with four homers and 22 RBIs in 46 games with the Indians this season. At Triple-A Buffalo, he batted .318 (7-for-22) with four RBIs in seven games during an injury rehabilitation assignment.
With Buffalo's season over, Hafner could join one of the Indians' other minor league affiliates to continue his rehab and remains confident that he will play again this year in Cleveland.
"I've definitely seen a lot of progress and it is stronger," said Hafner. "The next step is to build up endurance."
Westbrook felt some discomfort in his hip during spring training and said he would like to get it checked out after the season. He will visit Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville for further examination.
Cleveland activated second baseman Josh Barfield, who also was on a rehab assignment at Buffalo. and recalled first baseman Michael Aubrey and right-handers Tom Mastny, John Meloan and Brian Slocum. Left-hander Rich Rundles' contract was purchased from the Bisons.
Barfield had surgery on his left middle finger June 17. In 13 games rehabbing at Akron and Buffalo, he hit .204 (9-for-44) with two RBIs.
Manager Eric Wedge said the team didn't want to risk further injury to Laffey by bringing him back from Buffalo to pitch.
"It doesn't make sense to pitch the guy," Wedge said. "We'll let him report to camp next year 100 percent. He showed while he was with us that he is a major league pitcher, though he still needs to work on his game."
Laffey went 5-7 with a 4.23 ERA in 16 starts for Cleveland and was optioned to Buffalo on July 26. In his final two starts, however, he gave up 27 hits and 24 runs in only 10 2/3 innings.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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