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Travis Hafner returns from DL, rejoins Indians lineup

Sep 19, 2012, 3:26 PM EDT

Travis Hafner Getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Acta wasn’t kidding about Hafner returning this week. He’s in tonight’s lineup, batting sixth for the Indians.

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Travis Hafner has been out since August 5 with a back injury and has been limited to just 60 games this year, but manager Manny Acta said yesterday that he’s “optimistic” the 35-year-old designated hitter will rejoin the Indians’ lineup at some point this week.

Assuming the Indians decline his $13 million option for 2013 this is the final season of Hafner’s four-year, $57 million contract, which means it’s also likely his final season in Cleveland after spending most of that time on the disabled list with an assortment of injuries.

When healthy Hafner has never ceased being productive, posting an OPS above .800 in each of the past four seasons, but he hasn’t played 100 games since 2010 and hasn’t played 120 games since 2007. It’d be nice to see “Pronk” contribute a few big hits as a proper sendoff.

  1. largebill - Sep 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    I don’t often profess to speak for all Indians fans, but I can say with some confidence that the collective response to this report is: Why?

  2. willclarkgameface - Sep 19, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Anyone that is “optimistic” a 35-year-old designated hitter will rejoin the Indians’ lineup at some point this week is off the rails.

    Something about those dudes in Cleveland and them staying healthy all year. What’s in the water over there?

  3. Lukehart80 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    I’m with largebill, who cares?

    Aaron, I don’t say that to you for writing this, I say it to the Indians. Hafner’s contract has been a disaster, this season has been a disaster, and while I suppose Pronk getting to hit a couple more home runs as an Indian this season would be neat, I’m beyond the point of being able to muster up much interest in it.

  4. blantoncollier - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Let the guy sit on the bench. Why play him? Its a waste of at bats in a wasted season. Hafner represents $13 million Larry and Paul Dolan wont spend on the team next year.

  5. naharodny - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    To be fair, Mr Hafner has played an average of 91 games a year these last four seasons for the Tribe. So he hasn’t missed “most of that time on the disabled list.” It’s only been 44% of the time.

    Maybe he’ll accept a Sizemoresque $5M to rehab in 2013.

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