The Sports Network reports the Cleveland Indians have placed designated hitter Travis Hafner (shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain.
Hafner has not had a terrific start to the season, batting .217 with nine doubles, four home runs and 22 RBIs. He has also struck out 44 times and walked 23 times. He has been playing with this injury since spring training; it has caused him to move in and out of the lineup.
Hafner had a decent and relatively healthy 2007 season. He hit .266 with 24 home runs and 100 RBIs in 152 games. He struck out 115 times and walked 102 times during the season. He has been pretty consistent in the RBI category in his career but did see a dip in his home run total from 2006 (42) to 2007. He missed games because of elbow and hand injuries in 2006 and because of a concussion in 2005.
Hafner has been a bit of a disappointment for fantasy owners this season. He started to struggle last season, and it appears he has not been able to fully break out of the slump. Owners in shallow leagues should consider dropping Hafner and look for a more consistent player who has better numbers than Hafner. However, in deeper leagues, owners should place Hafner on the disabled list if they have the room to do so. If there is no space, he should be stashed away on the bench until he is ready to play.
Manager Eric Wedge has not named a replacement for Hafner while he is gone. Wedge said he has plenty of options to put in the lineup as the designated hitter so fantasy owners may want to look outside the team for a more valuable short-term replacement.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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