Cleveland Indians: 5 Reasons Why Travis Hafner Is Key to AL Central Race

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Cleveland Indians: 5 Reasons Why Travis Hafner Is Key to AL Central Race
John Grieshop/Getty Images

It wasn't long ago that the Cleveland Indians looked like they were going to run away with the American League central division title.

However, their once-distant lead evaporated as they have traded first place with the Detroit Tigers several times during the past few weeks. The Chicago White Sox have added to the AL central congestion by storming back into contention, sitting only 4.5 games out of first place.

But now designated hitter Travis Hafner has returned to the Indians' lineup, and it looks like they have stopped the bleeding. They have won two out of three games in each of the last three series and have regained the top spot in the division.

Hafner's performance during the rest of the season will have a direct impact on how the central division race plays out. Here's why:

 

 

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