"All things considered, it could have been a lot worse," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
Soloff also said an MRI on relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt revealed a moderate groin strain. He'll likely miss more than a month.
"His estimated timetable is 4-6 weeks before he's back with us," Soloff said.
Cabrera was injured in the first inning of Tuesday's loss to Minnesota when he slid into second base and collided with Twins shortstop Brendan Harris. Cabrera remained on the ground for several minutes and left the field in obvious pain, grabbing his left shoulder.
After leaving the game, Cabrera was taken for X-rays, which came back negative. But an MRI taken Wednesday in Cleveland revealed the sprain in his AC joint, which is the point at which most shoulder separations occur.
Cabrera was hitting .316 before sustaining the injury. Center fielder Ben Francisco was slated as the leadoff man in Cleveland's lineup Wednesday in Cabrera's absence.
Barfield has played five games in two separate stints with Cleveland this season, and was last optioned to Columbus on May 12. With the Clippers, Barfield was hitting .220 with 17 RBIs in 27 games.
In his third trip this year to the Majors, Barfield knows the recent callup is a chance for him to make a case for himself.
"When you get a few opportunities in this game, you've got to take advantage of it," said Barfield, who received the call around midnight following Tuesday's game. "That's what I look at this as, an opportunity to show what I can do."
Barfield was not in the lineup Wednesday, but Wedge likes what he brings to the club.
"We're versatile enough where we're still OK," Wedge said. "We just need Josh as somebody that we can use, whether it be second base or the outfield or pinch running, whatever it may be."