CLEVELAND -- Andy Marte is back from one of the stranger disabled list moves in recent memory, and he's bumping Matt LaPorta down to Triple-A. The Indians determined that LaPorta's development at the Major League level was stunted enough by Austin Kearns and Russell Branyan that it was time to get him more consistent at-bats with Columbus. He was optioned to the Clippers on Monday.
LaPorta, the key acquisition in the 2008 CC Sabathia trade with the Brewers, was expected to be an everyday player at left field and first base this season, but Kearns' hot start and Branyan's presence got in his way. LaPorta also hasn't shown the progress at the plate that the Indians had hoped for, as he's batting .218 (26-for-119) with four doubles, a homer and seven RBIs in 35 games. If the Indians make a midseason move with Kearns or Branyan, LaPorta should be back in a regular role. For now, the Indians want him to use the time in Columbus to regain some confidence at the plate. Marte was placed on the 15-day DL on May 15 with an infected ingrown hair on his stomach that required surgery. He has hit .208 (5-for-24) with four runs scored, a triple, homer and seven RBIs in 15 games this season. He made a rehab appearance at Class A Lake County over the weekend. He'll serve as a backup to Branyan at first and Jhonny Peralta at third.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.