CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has had an injury-riddled 2017, but will look to get back on the right path when he returns Sunday.
Manager Terry Francona confirmed that Kipnis (right hamstring strain) will be activated Sunday, barring a setback, after he played Friday night in Columbus. In that game, Kipnis tripled once in five at-bats, homering the night before.
The 30-year old had led on that he may make a return sooner, but Francona wanted to slow things down.
“He thought he was ready to go and I just kind of said to him, I think he had eight at-bats. That’s not very many,” the skipper said. “But, he’s worked so hard, so we wanted to kind of — I don’t know if meeting in the middle, if that’s the right way to say it — but show him that we appreciate it. But, I just thought one more game would do him some good. And he ended having to sprint I think four times, which is good.”
Francona also noted that Kipnis would not be pushed too hard upon return, a goal that is aided by the off-day on Monday.
“We don’t want to run him into the ground. That’s the one thing. It’s not just the hitting part — it’s your body,” Francona added. “You play two, three in a row. Once you start playing, sometimes guys don’t want a day off, because their bodies are used to it. But, when you’ve missed some time, you’ve got to be a little careful there. I think people think, Well, why does he need a day off? They probably need it more.
In the meantime, the team recalled OF Abraham Almonte on Saturday, optioning RHP Adam Plutko back to Columbus. Almonte would have been back sooner had it not been for the rule where players can only return 10 days after being demoted.