CLEVELAND -- Would the Indians entertain the prospect of a six-man rotation this season?
Yes and no.
"Not exactly six in that order," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "What we're thinking about is we could have a swing man, a type of guy where if someone like [Mitch] Talbot or [Justin] Masterson needs to be shut down, this guy can step in for one of those guys each week.
"That way, everybody will pitch, but not necessarily in a six-man rotation. We just don't want to shut anyone down completely. We want them to keep pitching through the year. That's the main thing."
Masterson, in the midst of his first full season as a Major League starter, and rookie Talbot, on the 15-day disabled list since July 30 with a back strain, have not yet reached the point of a scaled back workload.
"We're going to finish this month and see where they're at," Acta said. "Masterson only has 128 1/3 innings. With Talbot, these two weeks on the DL have kind of held him back a little bit."
Laffey, Talbot eye rejoining pitching staff
CLEVELAND -- The Indians' pitching staff has reinforcements on the way in Aaron Laffey and Mitch Talbot.
Talbot, on the 15-day disabled list since July 30 with a back strain, worked three innings Monday in a rehabilitation start for Class A Short-Season Mahoning Valley, allowing one run on two hits and one walk.
Cleveland manager Manny Acta said Talbot could reclaim his rotation spot Saturday night, when the Tribe hosts the Mariners at Progressive Field.
"Everything went very well [Monday]," Acta said. "He threw 33 pitches, then 17 more on the side. If he goes through the day [Tuesday] well and with no problems, and we find that out from [head athletic trainer] Lonnie [Soloff], then he should be able to go Saturday."
Laffey, who has not pitched since July 19 because of left shoulder fatigue, threw a bullpen session Tuesday for the first time since being placed on the 15-day DL on July 23.
"We're anticipating him throwing another [bullpen] in a couple of days, which is probably going to be the more important one," Acta said. "[Tuesday's session] was kind of a touch-and-feel type of bullpen. We'll see how he shows up [Wednesday] and if he's able to ramp it up again in a couple days."
Whether Laffey returns as a starter or a reliever hasn't been determined.
"We're still debating what we're going to do," Acta said. "At this point, I think the best thing would be for us to get together with him and see how he feels about it, instead of trying to ramp him up, stretch him out and bring him back as a starter. The first thing is to get him healthy."
Hafner to take swings later this week
CLEVELAND -- The right shoulder inflammation that landed Travis Hafner on the 15-day disabled list has improved to a point where he could resume swinging a bat later this week.
Hafner, who has not played since July 28, will likely require a handful of successful batting-practice sessions before returning to game action.
"Haf is feeling better," manager Manny Acta said. "We're probably a couple days away from him doing soft toss and taking BP. He'll probably need at least two good batting practice [sessions]. Then we'll make a decision whether he'll go out [on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment] and have a few at-bats, or just step right in here.
"He has to go through one BP at a time."
Through 82 games this season, Hafner is hitting .267 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs.
The Indians on Tuesday acquired catcher Luke Carlin from the Pirates for a player to be named later and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus. Carlin, who batted .239 (49-for-205) with two home runs and 23 RBIs in 63 games for Triple-A Indianapolis this season, has logged 46 career Major League appearances in stints with the Padres and Diamondbacks. ... Right-hander Anthony Reyes, recovering from June 2009 Tommy John surgery, will resume his rehabilitation Wednesday night in a start for Double-A Akron. ... Cleveland on Tuesday announced the signings of two players it selected in June's First-Year Player Draft, right-handers Cole Cook and Nate Striz. Cook, the Tribe's fifth-round pick out of Pepperdine University, went 5-6 with a 2.93 ERA in 14 appearances (13 starts) for the Waves last season. Striz, a 22nd-rounder from the University of North Carolina, posted a 5.79 ERA across 13 relief appearances in 2010. The Indians have agreed to terms with 18 of their 50 selections. The deadline to sign '10 draftees is Aug. 16. ... For more on the Tribe, visit the CastroTurf blog.
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.