Indians send LaPorta, two others to minors

Matt LaPorta, the key player acquired by the Cleveland Indians in a 2008 trade with Milwaukee for CC Sabathia, was sent to the minor leagues Tuesday.

LaPorta and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall were optioned to Triple-A Columbus, while outfielder Chad Huffman was reassigned to minor-league camp. Cleveland still has 43 players in major league camp.

LaPorta hit .167 with two RBIs in 14 games this spring. The first baseman, outfielder Michael Brantley and pitchers Zach Jackson and Rob Bryson were obtained for 2007 Cy Young award winner Sabathia in July 2008. Expected to be a power bat in the middle of the order, LaPorta has struggled in parts of three years for Cleveland, batting just .238 in 269 games, with 30 homers and 115 RBIs.

Chisenhall, the Indians' top draft pick in 2008, batted .205 this spring.