Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner was out of the lineup Thursday night against the Chicago White Sox while he rested and treated a sore left knee, an injury he got sliding into second base Tuesday night.
Hafner had to leave for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning Wednesday night when he began to hobble around. He said it was too early to tell how long he might be out of the first-place Indians’ lineup.
“I’m not able to run right now,” said Hafner, batting .254 with 18 homers and a team-high 70 RBIs.
“We’re going to do treatment (Thursday) and ice and hopefully that will improve it. ... Can’t really say anything about it until you see how it is tomorrow.”
Manager Eric Wedge said Hafner might undergo an MRI exam after the team returns to Cleveland to begin a three-game series tonight with the Yankees.
“I’m still holding out hope he’ll be available. ... Tomorrow we’ll see where he’s at,” Wedge said.
Hafner, who had 42 homers and 117 RBIs in 129 games for the Indians a year ago when he missed the final 29 games with a broken hand, has fallen off lately. He’s batted .167 with two homers and six RBIs over the last 16 games.
“The team is doing well. It’s all about making the playoffs,” Hafner said. “Maybe the stuff you go through will be worth it at the end of the day. ... You can’t ever let the game get you down, you know.”
Victor Martinez served as the DH on Thursday night with Kelly Shoppach moving behind the plate.
Gomez claimed off waivers from Orioles
The Indians claimed infielder Chris Gomez on trade waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.
The 36-year-old Gomez was batting .302 with a homer and 16 RBIs in 73 games for the Orioles. He has made starts at all four infield positions and is expected to join the Indians today.
“He’s going to play all over,” Wedge said.
Gomez is a career .261 hitter with 59 homers and 461 RBIs in 15 seasons. He broke in with the Detroit Tigers in 1993. Detroit selected him in the third round of the 1992 draft.
The Los Angeles native was eager to join the AL Central-leading Indians.
“I’ve heard lots of good things about the Cleveland organization, so it’s something to look forward to. But of course I’m going to miss the guys here,” he said of the Orioles.
The Tribe’s 40-man roster is now at 40. Gomez will be added to the 25-man roster when he reports today.
Branyan sent to Philly for cash
Cleveland sent infielder/outfielder Russell Branyan to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash.
Branyan joins his sixth team since making his major league debut with the Indians in 1998.
The 31-year-old, left-handed hitter began this season with San Diego, and hit .197 with seven homers and 19 RBIs in 61 games. He was released on July 28, signed with Cleveland on Monday and played one game at Triple-A Buffalo.
Rouse, Choo moved; Cabrera released
The Indians also outrighted infielder Mike Rouse to Triple-A Buffalo, released right-hander Fernando Cabrera and assigned outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Gulf Coast League roster in Winter Haven, Fla.