Gonzalez activated, then is hurt again
He will probably return to Cleveland for an examination.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Juan Gone came and went.
Juan Gonzalez, sidelined all season because of a strained right hamstring, was activated by the Cleveland Indians from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. Hours later, he reaggravated the injury while running out a grounder in the first inning -- his first major league at-bat since May 21, 2004.
Batting cleanup and assigned to play right field, Gonzalez hit a bouncer to third base -- and pulled up lame about halfway down the first-base line. Television replays showed him wince as he slowed to a jog. Casey Blake replaced him in right field for the bottom of the inning.
Manager Eric Wedge said after the Indians' 4-3 victory that the oft-injured slugger would probably return to Cleveland to have his leg examined and likely faces a return to the disabled list. Wedge had to confer with general manager Mark Shapiro before a roster move was made.
"He felt it. It was real," Wedge said. "It's just a matter of what further tests show."
Ludwick sent down
Gonzalez joined the Indians in Minnesota for the opener for the start of a three-game series against the Twins -- and the beginning of a season-high, 12-game road trip. To make room for Gonzalez, the club designated outfielder Ryan Ludwick for assignment.
Gonzalez was not in the clubhouse after the game.
"I feel bad for Juan," Wedge said. "The guy has put so much time and effort into it. ... He's worked so hard. I can't even imagine the frustration he's feeling and the emotions he's feeling right now."
Gonzalez's arrival was supposed to mean less playing time for Blake, a former third baseman who was moved to the outfield this season. Blake is batting just .201. Manager Eric Wedge said outfielders Jody Gerut and Grady Sizemore and designated hitter Travis Hafner would also get occasional days off to accommodate Gonzalez in the lineup.
After signing as a free agent in January, the two-time AL MVP made Cleveland's roster during spring training but hurt his right hamstring while making a catch on the same day Wedge announced that Gonzalez was his starting right fielder.
Shapiro said the club received good reports on Gonzalez's progress.
At times during spring training, the 35-year-old Gonzalez pulled pitches to left field the way he did as one of the AL's most feared hitters for nearly a decade. Gonzalez's production has plummeted in recent years because of injuries.
Out of options
Ludwick is out of options so the Indians have 10 days to trade, release or place him on waivers.
"It's a timing thing," Shapiro said. "He needs to play every day right now and hopefully he'll get to do that again at Buffalo or someone will give him a chance to."
Shapiro wouldn't say whether Ludwick has been placed on waivers or if there has been any trade interest.
Ludwick, who has overcome two knee operations and surgery on his hip to get back to the majors, was rarely used by Wedge in recent weeks. Ludwick has had just one at-bat in the past seven games.
He's hitting .220 (9-for-41) with hour homers and five RBIs.