The Cleveland Indians have placed designated hitter Travis Hafner on the 15 day disabled list. The slugger will miss time due to a muscle strain in his abdomen.
The injury occurred during batting practice Wednesday night in Chicago. Cleveland sat Hafner a few games, hoping to avoid a DL stint, before making the move after an MRI showed a strain. The DH is eligible to come off the disabled list June 2.
Hafner has been a large part of Cleveland’s early success. He has managed a batting line of .345/.409/.549 this season.
The Indians DH has been plagued by injuries over his past several seasons, not appearing in more than 118 games since 2007. Hafner entered this season healthy, and came out looking like the player who’s garnered MVP votes in the past.
Hafner marks the second high profile player the Indians have lost to the DL this week, joining teammate Grady Sizemore on the shelf. Like Hafner, Sizemore overcame his injury riddled past and played well for the club before heading to the DL with a bruised knee.
Outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has been called up to take Hafner’s roster spot. Shelley Duncan‘s been in the lineup as the team’s DH the past two nights. Duncan has 11 starts as Cleveland’s designated hitter on the year, and will likely be called on as Hafner’s primary replacement.