CHICAGO: The Indians find themselves without their No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters in the wake of injuries that have taken Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner out of the lineup for an indeterminate amount of time.
Santana was hit in the mask with a foul ball in the eighth inning Friday night and suffered a mild concussion. He was put on Major League Baseball’s seven-day disabled list, which is reserved for players diagnosed with concussions. Cabrera left Friday night’s game in the seventh inning with a tight left hamstring after fielding a ground ball.
He is listed as day-to-day, but the vast majority of players who suffer even minor hamstring strains miss five to seven games.
Hafner experienced pain in his knee Wednesday and did not play Thursday or Friday. He remains in Cleveland after being given a cortisone injection to ease the inflammation. He will be re-evaluated Monday.
“This is not easy for us, but it’s part of the game,” manager Manny Acta said. “Everybody has issues. Certainly, it’s a big blow to lose your 3, 4 and 5 hitters, but nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We have to continue to fight. It’s just about impossible to get through a season without adversity, and this is our time.”
No team can expect to perform at a peak level without the services of the middle of its lineup, but the Tribe probably has less depth than most clubs to withstand that kind of loss.
“I don’t think we have the depth of some clubs to absorb these types of injuries,” Acta said. “We’re not talking about backup guys. It’s like last year, when we lost our whole outfield and our DH. But you can’t just throw your hands up.”
HOW IT WORKS — Santana cannot return to the field until all the requirements of Major League Baseball’s new (2011) policy on concussions are fulfilled.
•?Before Santana can be cleared, the Tribe must submit a Return to Play form to MLB’s medical director.
•?To do that, all of Santana’s symptoms must disappear, both when he is at rest and when he is active. All of Santana’s brain function calculations must return to the norms established during spring training testing. These evaluations include brain processing speed, memory and reaction time.
•?The team doctor, in his judgment, must determine that it is safe for Santana to play.
ROSTER MOVES — To take Santana’s place on the roster, Luke Carlin was summoned from Triple-A Columbus, where he was batting .277 with one homer and 10 RBI in 20 games. Carlin will back up Lou Marson, who takes over the No. 1 catching job. To make room on the 40-man roster for Carlin, Rafael Perez (strained lat) was moved from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. He is eligible to be activated June 25.
THE GOOD NEWS — Jack Hannahan started at third for the first time in 12 games, after recuperating from a sore back.
“He’ll probably get the day off tomorrow, because he’s not able to go back-to-back yet,” Acta said. “We have to work him in.”
FARM FACTS — Cord Phelps had four hits and Jason Donald and Jared Goedert homered as Columbus beat Syracuse 9-6. David Huff (3-1, 3.08 ERA) gave up three runs in 5? innings. … Carlos Moncrief homered and doubled in Carolina’s 7-5 loss to Winston-Salem in Class A. … Joseph Colon (5-4, 2.93 ERA) gave up two runs in 5? innings, as Lake County defeated West Michigan 7-4 in Class A. Luigi Rodriguez and Zach McPhee each had three hits and two RBI.
— Sheldon Ocker