Cleveland (92.3 the Fan) – Pre-game of the 2017 home opener did not provide the news that some had anticipated.
For those looking to really swing for the fences, no there was not a Francisco Lindor extension ready for this opening day, but a move that was expected was the activation of OF Lonnie Chisenhall from a right shoulder sprain.
That did not happen as well.
Chisenhall’s absence from the roster was more related to transportation, with his flight into Cleveland landing under two hours from Opening Day ceremonies. Both Chisenhall and second baseman Jason Kipnis were present for the ring ceremony and introductions, with the latter taking batting practice with the team.
Instead of being hurried back into the lineup and forcing player movement, the Chisenhall will make another appearance in Double-A Akron tomorrow. The 28-year old may see more time in the minors, and with a left-hander on the mound Wednesday in Derek Holland, it may be beneficial, though manager Terry Francona said it did not factor into his decision.
“From talking to (Chisenhall) and talking to the medical people, I think he was good with going tomorrow and then ‘let’s revisit,’” Francona said. “I talked to him before I got on the plane the other day, coming from Arizona. It was just going to be really rushed today, and I think before we activate him, obviously we want to sit down with him and let the trainers examine him and that was just going to be really – probably not the best idea.”
The road back for Kipnis, also dealing with a shoulder issue, was not expected to end Tuesday, though the path was given a further outline.
The all-star will be between Akron and Columbus over the next week, trying to play three days in a row, hopefully in the field. Kipnis may DH on day two, but will try and get four at-bats in at second on Wednesday.
The Rubber Ducks are in town before leaving for Bowie, MD tomorrow night, and Kipnis will head to Columbus Thursday, potentially with Chisenhall.
Kipnis has had a limited Spring, with six at-bats in Spring Training, and six more with Akron to this point. He played five innings at second base on Monday, going 0-for-3 at the plate, but also going without anything hit to him in the field.
Regardless of his workload, Kipnis maintains the road back remains the correct one.
“Right now it’s just building up the volume and trying to get the timing back,” he said. “ think we got over the hump a couple of weeks ago with the shoulder, it feels good, we’ve done the right process with it, now it’s back to getting up to game speed.”
Kipnis also said that, while he is confident in his shoulder now, he had his doubts early on.
“Maybe early on in spring when we tried to give it a little rest, then tried to build it back up and it still wasn’t feeling good,” the 30-year old said. “I think you are always going to have at least that little concern creep into your mind that, ‘hey, why isn’t this going away?’ But they know what they’re doing here and we went through the right stages to get over this one, and, knock on wood, but I think we did.”