GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Manny Acta plans on keeping a close eye on Travis Hafner's workload this season. The designated hitter has been hindered by a nagging right shoulder issue for parts of the past three seasons.
"We're going to have to monitor is volume," Acta said. "We don't want to run him down to the ground way too early. I think throughout camp we're going to get a better feel of how he is physically and then I'll get together with our medical staff and see."
Acta said he may implement a similar plan to the one he used down the stretch last season. After the 33-year-old Hafner returned from the disabled list in August, Acta tried not to use him in more than four consecutive games.
Hafner responded well to the altered routine, hitting .329 in the second half and .302 after being activated from the DL. Overall, Hafner finished last season hitting .278 with 13 home runs, 29 doubles and 50 RBIs over 118 games for the Indians. It marked his most games played since appearing in 152 in 2007.
"He did very well at the end of the season, when we monitored his playing time," Acta said.
Acta noted that Hafner will likely receive some days off when the Indians face a tough left-handed pitcher. Outfielders Austin Kearns and Shelley Duncan, along with switch-hitting catcher Carlos Santana, could present options to spell Hafner as the DH on days when he is out of the lineup.