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06/19/08 9:25 PM ET
Indians acquire Fasano from Braves
Veteran offers more experience than Haad, who's designated
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
DENVER -- Kelly Shoppach is the Indians' everyday catcher, now that Victor Martinez is out for a while. But Shoppach, of course, can't be counted on to play every day. Knowing this, the Indians opted to bring in a more experienced backup catcher than the one they were carrying. Enter 36-year-old Sal Fasano, who was acquired Thursday from the Braves for a player to be named later. Yamid Haad was designated for assignment.
Fasano has played in 412 games in the Majors with the Blue Jays, Yankees, Phillies, Orioles, Angels, Rockies, Royals and A's. He has compiled a .219 batting average with 47 homers and 134 RBIs, and he most recently appeared in the bigs with the Jays in '07, when he hit .178 with a homer and four RBIs in 16 games.
"He's a more veteran guy," manager Eric Wedge said of Fasano. "With the length of time Victor's going to be out, we wanted somebody with a little more experience and knowledge of the league [than Haad]."
Wedge was quick to point out that Haad "didn't do anything wrong."
Then again, how could he? Thanks to Monday's off-day, which has allowed Shoppach to stay in the lineup each day, Haad didn't see so much as one at-bat or one inning of action in the week since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Buffalo.
The mustachioed Fasano figures to get in the lineup at some point. He was expected to be in uniform for Thursday night's game against the Rockies, though he had not yet arrived to Coors Field when the Tribe took the field for batting practice.
After getting cut by the Jays at the end of spring camp, Fasano signed a Minor League deal with the Braves and was batting .193 with two homers and nine RBIs in 26 games at Triple-A Richmond.
Though his career numbers are nothing to get too excited about, Fasano does have some power. Six of his 16 hits at Richmond were extra-base hits (two homers, a triple and three doubles), and he hit 11 homers in 160 at-bats for the Orioles in 2005.
But the Indians are more interested in his duties behind the plate.
"He's a good receiver, and he handles pitching staffs well," assistant general manager Chris Antonetti said. "He should be a good complement to Kelly."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.