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06/12/08 6:59 PM ET
Barfield's active stay with Tribe short
Second baseman has sprained finger, might need surgery
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- As if going on the disabled list wasn't trouble enough Thursday, Indians second baseman Barfield has to walk around with a splint propping up the middle finger on his left hand. "That's the worst part," Barfield said with a smile. "I'll have to keep my hand in the car when I'm driving." Barfield was able to smile, but he knows the sprained finger he had shrugged off as a minor injury two days earlier has the potential to be no laughing matter. It's already landed him on the 15-day DL, and on Monday, he'll find out if it will require surgery. With Barfield out, Jamey Carroll will take over the everyday second base duties. The Indians purchased the contract of 33-year-old Jorge Velandia from Triple-A Buffalo to fill Carroll's utility job. During his at-bat against the Twins' Scott Baker in the fourth inning of Tuesday night's game, Barfield, promoted from Triple-A Buffalo just a day earlier, quickly tensed his hand on a checked swing. In the process, a tendon at the base of his left middle finger rolled out of its groove and became unstable. On Monday, Barfield will see team hand specialist Dr. Tom Graham in Baltimore to determine if the injury can be fixed with rest and rehab or if surgery will be required. The Indians will have more information on Barfield's timetable for a return on Monday or Tuesday. "It's an uncommon injury," head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said. "It's an injury we've never seen with one of our players." The injury caught the Indians off guard. They brought Barfield up when they sent Asdrubal Cabrera down to Buffalo to get his bat straightened out. Cabrera was immediately eligible to return to the club because of the injury, but the Tribe opted instead to go with Velandia and allow Cabrera to right himself in the Minors. "[Cabrera] needs to stay down and get himself where he needs to get to," manager Eric Wedge said. So Carroll, who is batting .245 with no homers and eight RBIs, is the new second baseman. Velandia was batting .235 in 16 games for the Bisons. He spent the first part of the season at Triple-A Syracuse in the Blue Jays' organization. Velandia has played in 166 big league games with the Padres, A's, Mets, Rays and Jays, compiling a career average of .182. As for Barfield, the injury was a quick punch to the gut after his wait to return to the big leagues was finally rewarded Monday. "What can you do?" Barfield said. "It's tough. A lot of things happen that you don't expect, and you've got to roll with it."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.