Hafner hits DL with strained right foot
Tribe recalls right-hander Judy to take Pronk's roster spot
DETROIT -- The Indians have lost enough ground in the American League Central race over the past three days. The last thing Cleveland needed was to also lose its cleanup hitter to the disabled list.
During Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Tigers, Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner pulled up lame while trying to stretch a single into a double in the sixth inning. On the unfortunate play, Hafner sustained a strain in his right foot. He avoided the DL with a similar issue earlier this season but was not be able to this time.
"Right away, it was really sore," Hafner said following Sunday's defeat in Detroit.
Right-hander Josh Judy was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to take Hafner's roster spot, as the Tribe opens a four-game home set against Seattle on Monday.
On April 27, Hafner suffered a strained tendon in the bottom of his right foot while sliding into home plate in the first inning of a game against the Royals. Hafner then was held out of the starting lineup for five games before eventually returning to the mix.
In his first at-bat on Sunday, Hafner fouled two pitches off his right foot while facing Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello. Hafner was not sure if the current injury was more about those painful foul balls or if it was the same as the issue he faced in late April.
"The first at-bat, I fouled one ball off my foot and one ball off my ankle," Hafner said. "So my foot got a little sore and swollen. Just running to second base there [in the sixth], it just kind of gave out on me."
With one out and a runner on second base, Hafner pulled a pitch from Detroit's Daniel Schlereth into right field for a base hit. The RBI single trimmed the Tigers' lead to 8-7, but Hafner came up limping while rounding first base.
Limping, and hung out to dry, Hafner was easily thrown out as he attempted to retreat to first base. The 34-year-old DH then hobbled off the field and took a seat on the bench in the visitors' dugout, where he was tended to by Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff.
Lonnie Chisenhall pinch-hit for Hafner in the top of the eighth.
Hafner is hitting .281 with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs in 82 games this season for the Indians. With that ill-fated single, however, Hafner broke free from an 0-for-16 skid. Going into Sunday's game in Detroit, Hafner had hit just .191 (9-for-47) with 20 strikeouts over his past 11 games for the injury-plagued Indians.
Hafner also missed a month on the DL earlier this season due to a right oblique injury.
Cleveland recently received right fielder Shin-Soo Choo back from the disabled list after he broke his left thumb in a game against the Giants on June 24. The Indians have also been without center fielder Grady Sizemore since July 17. Sizemore is currently working his way back from a right knee injury as well as a sports hernia operation.
With Hafner landing on the DL, manager Manny Acta said it is another chance for someone else to step up.
"Hey, we've got to move on," Acta said. "We've already got where we're at right now without Choo and without Grady and Hafner for a month. You've got to keep them playing. These are occasions where heroes are born. Maybe somebody will step up and make a name for themselves."