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Travis Hafner quietly having a good, healthy year in Cleveland

Sep 8, 2010, 1:47 PM EDT

He’s no longer the middle-of-the-lineup monster he was from 2004 to 2006 and the Indians have been pretty miserable all season, but Travis Hafner is quietly having a very productive and mostly healthy year.
He’s already played 101 games after shoulder problems limited him to a total of 151 games in the previous two seasons and Hafner has hit .298/.391/.483 in 80 games since a terrible first month.
That can’t compare to the incredible .308/.419/.611 line he posted during his three-year peak, but Hafner is hitting .347/.418/.551 since the All-Star break and has come back from the injuries to re-establish himself as a very solid designated hitter and middle-of-the-order threat. I’d credit the Indians for having the patience to stick with him throughout all the health problems and mediocre production, but in reality they didn’t have much of a choice.
As part of a contract extension signed in mid-2007, he’s making $11.5 million this season and is still owed $13 million for both 2011 and 2012, plus a $2.75 million buyout for 2013. His contract isn’t going to get any less cringe-inducing for Indians fans, but at least Hafner is back to being an asset again.

  1. thetruckerking - Sep 8, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    I have to admit that I thought Hafner was done. The guy would come back from an injury and before he had the chance to get things going he would get hurt all over again. Then came stretches where Hafner was supposedly healthy but he was just a joke at the plate and the steroid rumors started popping up. The Indians can hardly afford a .240 hitter with no power in the DH spot. Now it does seem like the old Pronk is returning to form. Hafner is a character and I always loved his attitude but he knew not to joke around when he was going through tough times. That showed class and you just can’t help but like a guy like that. I can only wish him the best and hope that his new found production continues for many years to come.

  2. Tribester - Sep 8, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    The Indians stick with everybody who isn’t good enough to be trade fodder. They still have three players batting below .200, two of which started on the Opening Day roster. It is nice to see Pronk coming back around though.

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