Indians place LaPorta on DL, recall Buck
First baseman sprained ankle in rundown in Friday's win over Bucs
CLEVELAND -- In the balancing act between baserunning basics and in-game adrenaline, Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta gave in to the latter on Friday night and made an ill-fated dash to third base in the third inning.
Indians manager Manny Acta would have preferred that LaPorta held his ground at second.
"That's safe to say," Acta said on Saturday. "Whether he got hurt or not."
LaPorta did get injured, though, and Cleveland was forced to place the ailing first baseman on the 15-day disabled list with a mild right high ankle sprain prior to Saturday's game against the Pirates. The Tribe recalled outfielder Travis Buck from Triple-A Columbus to assume LaPorta's place on the roster.
Acta indicated that LaPorta is expected to miss two to three weeks with the injury. An X-ray performend on LaPorta's right foot on Friday night came back negative for any fractures, and Acta noted that an MRI exam on Saturday also came back clean. Still, the first baseman's injury was severe enough for him to be shelved.
"We hope to get him back as soon as possible," Acta said.
During the third inning of Friday's 5-1 win over Pittsburgh, LaPorta attempted to advance to third base on a grounder off the bat of Orlando Cabrera. The chopper was gloved by Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno, who quickly relayed the ball to third baseman Josh Harrison to trap LaPorta between the bags.
While retreating to second base, LaPorta twisted his ankle and fell to the ground before being tagged out. The Indians' first baseman then needed assistance from team trainers in order to leave the field.
LaPorta, who is on the Major League disabled list for the first time in his young career, has hit .242 (48-for-198) with eight home runs, 10 doubles and 31 RBIs through 59 games for the Indians this season.
Buck, who has had three stints with the Tribe this season, has hit .226 with two homers, five doubles and eight RBIs in 29 games for Cleveland this year. He was sent to Columbus because Hafner was activated from the 15-day DL following a month-long bout with a right oblique strain.
Buck -- optioned to Triple-A on Friday to clear room on the roster for the return of designated hitter Travis Hafner -- was still at his home in the Cleveland area at the time of LaPorta's injury. Buck was watching the Indians game and knew immediately that he might receive a phone call.
"It didn't look pretty," Buck said. "Obviously he was in pain. He's a tough guy, but that's a lot of weight going down on that ankle. Fortunately enough for him, it wasn't as bad as I guess it could've been."