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Barfield happy to get back on field at Canal Park; Martinez next

By sstorm Published: August 14, 2008

It wasn't Progressive Field, but it didn't matter to Josh Barfield.

Limited to three innings in his first rehab outing since undergoing ligament surgery on his left middle finger June 17, Barfield was excited to just be playing again - even it was with the Tribe's Double-A club at Canal Park Thursday.

"I haven't played a game in two months," Barfield said. "So, it was just about getting back out there and getting the adrenaline going. You can't simulate game speed, so I just needed to get back in it and see how I feel. And right now, I feel real good - that's the main thing.''

In his first at-bat to lead off the bottom of the first, Barfield grounded out to the pitcher. In his second plate appearance, he flew out to center field. In the field Barfield was involved in just one play, an expertly executed 5-4-3 double play to end the second inning.

"When I hurt it, fielding was the hardest because I couldn't close my glove," he said. "But since they fixed it, now it's really just about getting back to hitting, making contact and feeling the vibrations on the hand.''

Aeros manager Mike Sarbaugh said it was fun to see Barfield's enthusiasm.

"Josh was really anxious to get out there and play,'' Sarbaugh said. "He wanted to play nine (innings).''

While Barfield is expected to rejoin the Aeros Saturday if all goes well with his finger the nexy day, Indians catcher Victor Martinez is scheduled to join the team Friday and Sunday for his rehab assignment.

Martinez, the former Aero who was the 2002 Eastern League MVP, is scheduled to DH Friday and Sunday with an off day in between. The Tribe's All-star backstop is making his way back from right elbow surgery foremost, but also from a strained left hamstring as well.

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