Hafner expected to return Tuesday

Designated hitter slammed Double-A homers Friday, Saturday

(Mark Duncan/AP)

By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com | September 7, 2008 10:24 AM ET

KANSAS CITY -- Fresh off an MVP-caliber performance in the Double-A Eastern League playoffs, Travis Hafner is ready for the big leagues.

The Indians are expected to make their most high-profile September callup Tuesday, when Hafner, who has been on the DL since May 30 and rehabbing his weak right shoulder in the Minors since mid-August, will most likely be activated.

Pronk hit a grand slam Friday and another home run Saturday to help Akron beat Bowie and advance to the Eastern League Championship Series. He'll join the Tribe in Baltimore on Sunday night and work out with the team before Monday's game against the Orioles.

"He felt as good as he's felt [Saturday]," manager Eric Wedge said. "We'll talk to him [Monday], give him a work day and potentially activate him Tuesday."

The 31-year-old Hafner had four plate appearances Friday and Saturday. The Indians wanted to be sure he could tolerate back-to-back days before bringing him back to the Majors.

Feeling the sting of Pronk's impact on the playoff series, Bowie manager Brad Komminsk -- formerly a manager of the Aeros -- was none too pleased with the Indians sending Hafner to Akron after Triple-A Buffalo's season ended, rather than bringing him back to the Majors.

"I know [Indians farm director] Ross [Atkins] said they want to put him at the highest level, but for me, the highest level is the big leagues," Komminsk said. "And for a team that's 10 games out and has no chance of winning, he could have done it just as easily there."

When told of Komminsk's feelings, Wedge shrugged.

"What are you going to do?" Wedge said. "We'd rather have him up here. We had no ulterior motive. It's just where we are in the season. You always want your players at the big league level."

Hafner, who was batting just .217 with four homers and 22 RBIs when he went on the DL, will be back in the big leagues with very little time to prove to the Indians that he's fully recovered and will be ready to help them in 2009. But the Tribe is going to attempt to make the most of what little time remains.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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