CLEVELAND -- Travis Hafner is ready to resume his rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus, and reliever Joe Smith is ready to begin his. Pronk, who returned to Cleveland earlier this week after experiencing mild back soreness with the Clippers on Sunday, took batting practice in the indoor cages on a rainy Wednesday afternoon at Progressive Field. His surgically repaired right shoulder continues to respond well to baseball activities, and he's expected to play Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Columbus before returning to the Tribe's lineup on Monday.
"We'll just get the volume up to make sure everything feels good enough for me to play five days a week," Hafner said. "I've had good at-bats and been consistent. I feel everything is in a good place." Hafner was placed on the DL on April 29 with soreness in the shoulder, which was cleaned out through arthroscopic surgery last October. The doctors told Hafner such soreness is natural in the year following surgery, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that it could creep up again this season. Before going on the DL, Pronk was batting .270 with four homers and eight RBIs in 17 games. In his rehab stint, to this point, Hafner has hit .455 (10-for-22) with a homer, two doubles and five RBIs in six games. He was pulled after three at-bats Sunday as a precautionary measure when he experienced tightness in his back. "I just had to get it adjusted [by a chiropractor]," Hafner said of his back. "He cracks it and puts it back in place." Joe Smith appears to be back in place after going on the DL with a right rotator cuff strain on May 2. Now he needs to get some innings under his belt. Smith threw a live batting practice session at Progressive Field on Wednesday and will report to Columbus later this week. Because he missed significant time in camp with a viral infection, Smith's rehab stint can be considered a second spring, of sorts. He posted a 7.11 ERA in eight appearances in April.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.