MINNEAPOLIS: The Indians' body count continued to rise Wednesday with the news that Asdrubal Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Rather than being struck down with a dislocated shoulder, as Cabrera thought, the diagnosis, made in Cleveland, is a sprain.
"An MRI and an exam by Dr. (Mark) Schickendantz confirmed that it's an AC joint sprain,'' head trainer Lonnie Soloff said. "It will not require surgery. It should be approximately two to four weeks before he can resume playing. We are hoping that he can begin baseball activity before that.''
Cabrera ran into the injury, so to speak, when he tried to break of a double play Tuesday night and his shoulder collided with the hip of Minnesota shortstop Brendan Harris.
"I thought it was going to be worse when I saw it; we're kind of lucky,'' manager Eric Wedge said. Considering that Cabrera is one of nine players on the disabled list, and that he is likely to be back before many of them, Wedge's comparative use of the word ""lucky'' might be appropriate.
Nevertheless, Wedge will have to work harder each day to patch together a lineup.
He already lost his everyday leadoff hitter, Grady Sizemore, with an elbow injury that probably will take at least two more weeks to heal. Cabrera took over for him. So who's turn is it now?
"Benny (Francisco) has led off before,'' Wedge said. ""Jamey Carroll could do it, too. I wouldn't like to do it so early in his career, but Trevor Crowe has led off in the minors. But Bennie is the logical guy to start out with.''
The injury to Cabrera will move Jhonny Peralta back to shortstop with Luis Valbuena as his backup. Taking over for Peralta at third will be Carroll and Mark DeRosa. Second base will be shared by Valbuena, Carroll and DeRosa with Ryan Garko and Victor Martinez at first.
Martinez has refrained from catching the past four games because of a bruised knee, but he might be behind the plate this afternoon.
Josh Barfield was recalled from Columbus to take Cabrera's place on the roster, but Wedge did not indicate that Barfield was about to increase his work load beyond his two previous 2009 stints with the club.
"We're versatile enough to still be OK,'' Wedge said, indicating that Barfield would be an unlikely semi-regular. "Josh is someone who can play second or the outfield and be a pinch runner as the game wears on.''
HANGING IN THERE -- One look at Jamey Carroll's right middle finger, and you might wonder why he wasn't watching Wednesday night's game against the Twins on television.
Instead, he was the Indians' starter at third, where Tuesday night as a replacement for Peralta, he put his finger in harm's way of a Carlos Gomez ground ball. The direct hit turned Carroll's nail black and the tip of his bruised finger a deep purple.
"Mainly, I don't feel anything,'' Carroll said. ""But that's all right. I never feel anything in this finger (pointing to his fourth) either, whch I broke in college.''
It wasn't the first time Carroll had injured the middle finger. He sustained a fracture five or six years ago (he doesn't remember for certain) on a ball hit by Gary Sheffield.
When Wedge looked at the damaged finger, he wasn't sure Carroll should be playing.
"I had a talk with him,'' Wedge said. ""He was adamant that he's OK.''
OFFICIAL DIAGNOSIS -- After an MRI and a doctor's examination, Rafael Betancourt's injury has been diagnosed as a moderate groin strain that will take four to six weeks to heal.
Groin strains are ranked either mild, moderate or severe.
HOT TICKET? -- In the face of a stalled economy, the Indians and Browns have become partners in a ticket promotion to sell luxury suites in three-game packages.
For $15,000, a purchaser can rent a suite for one game against the Cardinals and one against the Tigers at Progressive Field plus the Pittsburgh Steelers game at Browns Stadium. Another package features baseball games against the Cards and Reds plus the Browns-Packers confrontation for $10,000.
Each package includes 14 seats per suite, the usual food and (non-alcoholic) beverages, three parking passes to each game plus team merchansdise.
REHAB REPORT -- Jake Westbrook (Tommy John surgery) threw three innings in an extended spring training game in Arizona, allowing two hits while striking out three. He threw 33 pitches and is expected to start fror Akron on Friday... In two appearances for Columbus, Joe Smith (right rotator cuff strain) has thrown two scoreless innings, given up two hits, walked one and struck out one... Travis Hafner (shoulder soreness) is scheduled to rejoin the Tribe today and probably be activated Friday. He was playing in his final game for the Clippers Wednesday night.
FARM FACTS -- Zach Jackson (3-3, 2.67 ERA) gave up one unearned run (three total) and seven hits in seven innings, but Columbus lost 3-1 to Charlotte... Nate Recknagel doubled, singled and drove in a run in Kinston's 4-2 loss to Wilmington... Delvi Cid had three hits and Abner Abreu doubled and singled in Lake County's 9-8 loss to West Virginia. John Allman homered and had two RBI; Donnie Webb tripled and had three RBI.