The Indians passed on hot-hitting prospects Luis Valbuena and Matt LaPorta to promote the veteran Dellucci, but manager Eric Wedge implied before Friday's game against the Tigers that another move would be made after the game. Valbuena could very well be on his way up after hitting .311 with a .927 OPS in 21 games for the Columbus Clippers. He could help the Indians at second base, shortstop and third.
In the meantime, Dellucci's presence gives Wedge a left-handed DH option, as well as another candidate to spell Ben Francisco in left field. In seven games with Columbus, Dellucci, who is in the final year of a three-year, $11.5 million contract, hit .414 (12-for-29) with a double, a triple, two stolen bases, three walks and two RBIs. He played two games in the outfield and the rest at DH.
"I didn't have any setbacks, which is a good thing," Dellucci said of his rehab stint. "Some days [the muscle] was tight, some days it was not. But I did everything and was able to run 100 percent. That's the important thing."
Wedge said Dellucci will see the bulk of his playing time at DH. That's where Dellucci started Friday, batting in the No. 7 spot.
"He's been swinging the bat well, moving around well," Wedge said.
But Dellucci is not considered the primary option to replace Pronk at the DH spot. Such an option really doesn't exist, as Wedge will choose from a mix of candidates that includes Victor Martinez, Ryan Garko and Shin-Soo Choo, among others.
"It will be similar to what we did last year [when Hafner missed three months with shoulder weakness]," Wedge said. "We'll utilize that spot and move people in and out of it."
The Indians hope to have Hafner back within a couple weeks. His surgically repaired shoulder began giving him problems again earlier this week. He will visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday. A more concrete timetable on his return should be available then.