Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez are both 100%, for now. These two key components are going to assist the Indians to a 2009 AL Central title if they stay healthy. If they can’t stay healthy, there are people in place to pick up the slack, but the duo would seem the best answer when productive. In 2007, Martinez and Hafner combined for 49 HR, 214 RBI, and a .281 BA. In the injury plagued 2008 season, the pair combined for only 7 HR, 59 RBI, and a .244 BA, a noticable drop in production.
Victor Martinez was experiencing hamstring problems in early 2008. By the time May was finished, Martinez was experiencing elbow problems and eventually shut it down in June, opting for surgery to remove bone chips from the elbow.
Travis Hafner started 2008 with a bum shoulder. The pain got to be so much that Hafner had problems writing and eating without severe discomfort. Hafner stopped trying in May and eventually returned in September for 41 meaningless at-bats.
In 2009, Travis Hafner would have the better chance of the two to remain healthy simply because he only hits. Manager Eric Wedge has been quoted recently stating that Victor Martinez will see time at first to minimize the wear and tear a catcher endures. I agree, Martinez is too good of a hittter not to have in the lineup. If Martinez gets hurt then Kelly Shoppach, who had a great 2008, can step in while Ryan Garko / Matt LaPorta can man first base. Hafner, as a DH, can be replaced with anyone, but will his statistical potential be met? Pronk can hit, bottom line, and if he can stay healthy will deliver as he has in the past for this team.