ANAHEIM -- Physical issues kept designated hitter Travis Hafner out of the Indians' lineup with regularity in 2008 and 2009. But here in 2010, it's Hafner's struggles at the plate, not struggles with his right shoulder, that have him seeing more time on the pine.
Pronk was out of manager Manny Acta's lineup for the second time in three games Tuesday. Not so coincidentally, both of those benchings came with a left-handed starter on the mound for the opposition -- Gio Gonzalez in Oakland on Sunday and Joe Saunders at Angel Stadium on Tuesday.
Hafner, who has made all of his starts at either the No. 4 or No. 5 spot of the lineup, has had his problems against pitchers of all shapes, sizes and deliveries, but lefties have especially tripped him up. He is batting .148 (4-for-27) with no homers and two RBIs against them. Against right-handers, he's batting .235 (8-for-34) with two homers and three RBIs.
Acta, who noted he has seen "inconsistency in [Hafner's] swing and approach," said Pronk will start against right-hander Ervin Santana on Wednesday.
"In sports and in life, you try to put people in a position where they can have success," Acta said.