CLEVELAND -- Travis Hafner's absence has undoubtedly hurt the Indians' offense. The designated hitter has been one of the team's primary run producers throughout his career.
With Hafner on the disabled list due to a knee injury, the Indians continue to look for another middle-of-the-order player to step up. Catcher Carlos Santana seemed, at the time Hafner went out, to be an obvious answer.
But Santana has struggled with the added pressure to produce. In 13 starts, entering Monday, since Hafner's injury, Santana was hitting just .130 (6-for-46) with no home runs and six RBIs. Santana has only five home runs on the season, a year after hitting 27 long balls.
Indians manager Manny Acta said Santana continues to try and cut down on some of his body movement at the plate. Acta would like to see Santana keep his hands inside the ball and use the whole field.
"That's nothing new to him," Acta said. "He's just working on it."
Acta moved Santana down from fourth to sixth in the order for Monday night's game against the Reds. Santana hasn't batted that low in the lineup all season.
"He's been scuffling a little bit," Acta said. "We're just trying not to put any added pressure on him. We're doing the best we can to put the best lineup out there."
Acta feels Tribe may benefit from Deadline move
CLEVELAND -- The Indians were aggressive at the Trade Deadline last year. They sent a package of four prospects to Colorado in exchange for pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
While this year's July 31 Deadline is still nearly six weeks away, Indians manager Manny Acta would like the team to make a move again. The Indians entered play Monday in second place in the American League Central, 1 1/2 games behind the White Sox.
"Everybody needs something," Acta said. "But it's not like going to the store and grabbing a can of tomato sauce. You have your necessities, but sometimes they're not there for you. It takes two to tango. I think we do need some help."
Among the possible things on the Indians' shopping list is a right-handed bat and an outfielder. The Indians haven't gotten the kind of production they hoped from veteran Johnny Damon in left field, and they have no regular right-handed-hitting starter (though they have switch-hitters in Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana).
Second baseman Jason Kipnis is well aware of the team's needs. But he doesn't believe the Indians need to make a Deadline deal to compete for a division title.
"I like what we have in this locker room," Kipnis said. "I think we can win with what we have in this locker room. We've done it so far. I'm not too worried if no moves are made. I feel very confident with the guys we have in here.
"If moves are made and the guy comes in and helps us, all the better. But if not, there's no excuses. We should go out and win."
Acta speaks with Asdrubal about late AB
CLEVELAND -- Asdrubal Cabrera knew he didn't get all of the ball in his at-bat in the ninth inning of Sunday's 9-5 loss to the Pirates.
Cabrera, who had committed three costly errors earlier in the game, jogged out of the box toward first base after turning on the ball to right field. When the ball went over the head of Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata and rolled to the wall, Cabrera made the turn and ran faster, but he was thrown out at second.
After the game, Cabrera said he expected the ball to be caught.
"I didn't hit that ball good," Cabrera said. "I thought he had a chance to catch that ball and I slowed down."
Indians manager Manny Acta didn't realize Cabrera hadn't run hard when he was watching the game, but he said he had a talk with Cabrera about the issue.
"I didn't notice that until watching videos later on," Acta said. "I spoke to him. We talked about it. Caby's a guy that, we don't make a lot of things public, but he plays through a lot of pain at times. We respect him for that, but I spoke to him about it."
Quote to note
"Anytime they give a trophy away, it's automatically a rivalry."
-- Reds manager Dusty Baker, on whether the team's Ohio Cup series with the Indians feels like a regular National League rivalry.
The Indians hosted a pair of new members of the Ohio football community. Recently drafted Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson and first-year Ohio State coach Urban Meyer were on the field hours before Monday night's game against the Reds. Meyer and his son threw out the first pitches for the game.
Left-handed reliever Rafael Perez continues to rehab his injured left lat. There is still no timetable for his return, though Acta said Monday he does expect Perez to pitch this season.
Russ Canzler, an infielder at Triple-A Columbus, was named the International League Player of the Week on Monday. Canzler hit .381 (8-for-21) with three home runs and 13 RBIs in seven games last week.
Acta said he believes last week's incident involving Indians pitcher Derek Lowe and Reds manager Dusty Baker is in the past.
"It's not as big of a deal as has been made," Acta said. "To me, it's yesterday's paper. I just want Derek to go out there and give us an opportunity to win the ballgame."
Lowe, who started Monday, took exception to Baker ordering pitcher Mat Latos to throw inside to him last week in Cincinnati. Baker and Lowe's animosity toward one another stems from an incident that happened when Lowe was a pitcher for the Dodgers.
The Indians entered Monday's game just 4-8 in Interleague Play this season. Their 11-7 record in Interleague games last season was among the best in the league.
Justin Albers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.