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Cleveland Indians

Another shoulder ailment shelves Hafner

By Sheldon Published: August 29, 2009

All season, Travis Hafner has been dealing with the after-effects of last year's right shoulder surgery.

Now, he is fighting soreness in his left shoulder, an ailment that kept him out of the Indians' lineup Saturday night.

""This is something that started a week to 10 days ago,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""He's had good days and bad days with it, but now it's a little worse.''

Wedge isn't sure how the injury came about but speculated, ""It was something with his swing somewhere along the line.''

Hafner has not been examined by a doctor yet, but that time might be coming.

""We'll see how he feels tomorrow,'' Wedge said. ""If it's not better, he'll get it looked at when we're home Monday.''

No game is scheduled for Monday, and the Tribe had planned to spend the day in Cleveland before starting a three-game series with the Tigers in Detroit on Tuesday.

If Hafner were forced to miss several days or more because of his latest shoulder injury, he will not have to go on the disabled list to be replaced on the roster. Starting Tuesday, rosters can be expanded to 40, and the Indians were planning to call up at least one or two players from Columbus that day.

Hafner's surgically repaired right shoulder is sound, but he receives frequent days off to avoid fatigue and soreness. By the time training camp begins in the spring, the shoulder is expected to be 100 percent healthy again.

WHAT HAPPENED? -- Kelly Shoppach has experienced a sharp and unexpected fall-off in production at the plate this year.

In 2008, he batted .261 with 21 home runs and 55 RBI in 352 at-bats, numbers that convinced Wedge and General Manager Mark Shapiro that Shoppach should play more often.

But the plan did not pay dividends, and Shoppach's playing time was cut back more than a month ago. His current numbers: a .203 batting average with 10 homers and 35 RBI in 222 at-bats.

""We felt that Kelly did a very solid job last year,'' Wedge said. ""He has all the tools to keep everything going. He's proved that in short sprints, but he's had trouble holding onto it.

""And I still like his competitiveness and his passion. He's old school.''

ONE MAN'S OPINION -- Modern pitchers are taught to pitch to contact rather than concentrate on strikeouts that can inflate a pitch count. David Huff is not one to argue the point.

""For me strikeouts are boring,'' he said. ""I like to get those quick outs, ground outs on the first or second pitch.''

THE TIE BREAKER? -- Fausto Carmona had a fitful time Friday night, giving the Orioles six runs and nine hits in 42/3 innings. It was the polar opposite of his previoius start, when he allowed the Mariners one run and five hits in seven innings.

Because of the disparity between the two outings, Wedge is anxious to see Carmona's next start.

""With the last two, you had the best and the worst,'' he manager said. ""So the next start will be very interesting to me. Hopefully, it will be closer to his good start than last night's.''

FARM FACTS -- Hector Rondon (4-3, 3.47 ERA) gave up seven runs and 12 hits in six innings, as Columbus lost 10-4 to Louisville. *elip Russell Young (6-6, 3.32 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out seven as Kinston beat Potomac 7-1. Doug Pickens had three hits and one RBI. *elip Vidal Nuno (5-0, 1.57 ERA) gave up one run and five hits in 51/3 innings, as Mahoning Valley defeated Jamestown 6-1. Greg Folgia, Jesus Brito and Ben Carlson each had two hits and one RBI. Folgia and Brito had two doubles apiece.

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