Injured Hafner making strides in hitting program

Injured Hafner making strides in hitting program

CLEVELAND -- Designated hitter Travis Hafner sat at his locker inside the Indians' clubhouse on Sunday morning, preparing for another day spent as a spectator.

Hafner -- sidelined with a right oblique injury since May 18 -- continues to progress through a gradual hitting program, with the hope of returning to the lineup within the next two weeks. Prior to Sunday's game against the Rangers, Hafner was restricted to receiving treatment.

"No hitting today," Hafner said.

Hafner, 33, began swinging a bat on Thursday and he progressed to soft toss drills and tee work on Friday and Saturday. Hafner, who said he has been feeling improved, noted that he would resume the same activities on Monday.

"The first days it was bad," Hafner said. "But it's been feeling a lot better since then."

Hafner injured his oblique on a swing during batting practice on May 18 in Chicago. At the time of his injury, the veteran DH was hitting .345 with five home runs, eight doubles and 22 RBIs in 32 games for the Tribe.

In the 17 games since Hafner was shelved, Cleveland has gone 7-10 with a .231 team batting average, a .290 team on-base percentage and an average of 3.6 runs per game. In the team's first 39 games, the Indians' offense hit .271 with a .342 OBP and 5.3 runs per game.