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Cleveland Indians

Hafner close to returning after another good day of BP

By Sheldon Published: August 14, 2010

CLEVELAND: For the second day in a row, Travis Hafner took batting practice and felt fine afterward.

Hafner was eligible to come off the disabled list today but won't be activated until at least Sunday. He has been on the DL with inflammation in his right shoulder. Though Hafner will not play against the Mariners tonight, a decision probably will be made some time before tomorrow on wheter he will rejoin the team or spend a couple of days on a rehab assignment to give him a few at-bats against live pitching.

""It feels good, it feels strong,'' Hafner said of his shoulder. ""The inflammation is out of there. I think I'm in a pretty good spot.''

""It as another good day of BP,'' manager Manny Acta said. ""He swung the bat very well. We'll make a decision after we evaluate him and see how he has responded after doing his workout.''

Acta said Hafner might be activated without going on rehab, but he wasn't sure what course he would take.

Nobody has taken the third base job and run with it, which shouldn't surprise anyone. The three contenders -- Jayson Nix, Andy Marte and Luis Valbuena -- are not regarded as everyday players, and Valbuena has barely played the position, having spent his big-league career at second base.

""We'll continue to mix and match the three of them,'' Acta said. ""We'll get at-bats for all of them.''

The next regular third baseman for the Tribe might be at Triple-A. Jared Goedert has had an excellent season at Columbus, showing above average power (18 home runs plus seven at Akron). Undoubtedly, he will get his chance with the big-league club in September.

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