Travis Hafner has been moved to the 15 Day DL for the injury to his foot. Pronk fouled to balls off his right foot before stumbling around first base and limping off the field. He has dealt with an injury like this through most of this season, but he is unaware if it is the same injury. At the same time Shelley Duncan (and his father, Dave Duncan of the St. Louis Cardinals) have taken family emergency as Shelley’s mother goes through a serious surgical procedure. These tragedies have left the Indians without a designated hitter for the time being, with Matt LaPorta taking Hafner’s spot in tonight’s game.
While this may seem like a serious blow for the Indians, it may be a blessing in disguise. It has been reported that the Minnesota Twins have placed Jim Thome on waivers and the Indians are in a decent position to claim him. There are only 6 teams above the Indians on the waiver wire (Baltimore, Kansas City, Seattle, Minnesota, Oakland and Chicago) and none of them are contenders with the exception of the Chicago White Sox. If Thome makes it past the Sox, I can’t see any chance of the Indians not claiming him. He would be the perfect fit as the Indians only need a DH and it would allow him to retire as an Indian (he already said he would likely retire after hitting 600 home runs). While Thome has a full no trade clause, he would probably waive it to play with his old team for one last chance at a championship. The White Sox do look like a real problem however as they would love to have a real power hitter to replace Adam Dunn. They could also claim him just so the Indians won’t have a chance to. Thome is also likely to be willing to for the Sox as he is from Illinois and has played for them in the past.
If he does come back it would be reminiscent of 2007, when Kenny Lofton came back to the Indians to end his career. I would love nothing more than to see Thome back in an Indians jersey one last time and maybe add a couple more home runs to his already prodigious team record.