CLEVELAND -- Friday figures to mark a critical day in the recovery of Travis Hafner.
Hafner, placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3 with right shoulder inflammation, will take batting practice prior to the Indians' series opener against the Mariners at Progressive Field. The response of his shoulder to the session could dictate how soon the burly designated hitter returns to the Tribe.
"We're going to have him take a lot of swings, just like normal BP," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We'll see how he feels after that and talk about the possibility of him going [on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment] and getting a few at-bats before he joins us."
Through 82 games in 2010, Hafner is hitting .267 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs. The 33-year-old has not played in more than 95 games since the 2007 campaign, when he was considered a premier American League slugger.
These days, Acta would happily settle for an injury-free Hafner in the middle of his batting order.
"All I want is this guy to be healthy," Acta said. "Whether he's going to go back to where he was before, I don't know. We'll find out. All we can ask for is for him to be in our lineup."
Could Hafner, owed $13 million each of the next two seasons, be relegated to part-time duty should he not produce?
"If at some point he's not helping the ballclub," Acta said, "then that decision is going to have to be made, whether we're going to cut down his playing time or whatever we have to do. As far as being concerned right now, all we want is for him to be healthy.
"Hafner is the No. 1 guy who wants to be playing well. I'm sure he feels he's not doing what people are expecting of him, but only he knows how he feels. You can't be passing judgment on people who are hurt without being in their body. Hopefully he gets to a point where he can help us out. That's all I can ask for."
Health biggest rehab concern for Reyes
CLEVELAND -- As much as Manny Acta would like for Anthony Reyes to author a flawless Minor League rehabilitation assignment, the Indians' manager understands such a scenario simply isn't realistic.
Working his way back from June 2009 Tommy John surgery, Reyes struggled in Wednesday night's rehab start for Double-A Akron, yielding sevens runs on one hit and six walks in one inning of work against Reading.
Most importantly, Acta said, the 28-year-old right-hander did not experience any physical setbacks.
"He's fine," Acta said. "We checked him out earlier and his arm is OK. The last thing that Reyes is going to get back is his command. As long as he doesn't take a step back with his elbow, we're OK with it.
"Obviously, we want to see him cruise in his rehab program, but we're more worried about him not taking a step back."
Reyes, who last appeared in a Major League game May 22, 2009, could rejoin the Tribe later this season.
"We're just taking it day by day," Reyes said.
Laffey slated for side session on Friday
CLEVELAND -- Tribe lefty Aaron Laffey's second bullpen session since landing on the 15-day disabled list last month will take place Friday at Progressive Field.
Laffey, who has not pitched since July 19 because of left shoulder fatigue, threw his first DL bullpen session Tuesday.
Indians manager Manny Acta said the team has not yet laid out a Minor League rehabilitation schedule for Laffey, who could return as a starter or a reliever.
"He's going to throw a full bullpen Friday with all his pitches," Acta said. "Then, we'll sit down with him and try to map out his rehab."
The 25-year-old Laffey is 2-3 with a 4.62 ERA in 25 appearances this season, including five starts.
The Indians' Major League-best streak of 62 consecutive games with an extra-base hit came to a halt in Wednesday night's 3-1 loss to the Orioles at Progressive Field. O's righty Brad Bergesen limited the Tribe to a pair of singles en route to his complete-game effort. ... Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo's .342 home batting average through Wednesday's action ranked fourth in the American League. ... Cleveland relievers entered Thursday's contest having surrendered 48 runs in their past 123 2/3 innings of work, good for a 3.27 ERA. ... For more on the Indians, visit the CastroTurf blog at http://castrovince.mlblogs.com.
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.