Headlines, Indians

Lonnie Chisenhall to the DL, possibly out weeks

The Cleveland Indians had an auspicious All-Star Game with Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley, and Andrew Miller all making significant, positive contributions during the American League’s sixth straight midsummer classic win. The break ends on a down note though as cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes reports that Lonnie Chisenhall will be joining Jason Kipnis on the DL.

Chris Antonetti, Indians president of baseball operations, said Kipnis could be back sooner than Chisenhall. Antonetti said Chisenhall could be out a “few weeks.” This will be Chisenhall’s third stay on the DL this year.

Chisenhall began the 2017 season on the DL due to his shoulder and spent another short 10-day stint with a concussion. When he has been able to play though, he has been phenomenal. Chisenhall was a darkhorse All-Star candidate whose WAR out-paced teammate and 2017 All-Star Michael Brantley’s value.

Accounting for an April with a sore shoulder reveals that Chisenhall has been even better in 2017 than the overall numbers suggest. He is only pulling the ball 30% of the time, while putting well over 50% of the batted balls in the air and around 38% of them are registering as hard hits in May and June. There is a good chance his insane June wRC+ of 188 is higher than he can maintain, however his overall profile shows he should remain a well above average hitter the rest of the season (barring injury).

Those last two words now hang in the air as the Indians will have to manage both the infield and the outfield a man short, possibly for the rest of July. Erik Gonzalez and Giovanny Urshela are expected to remain on the 25-man roster to account for the absence of Kipnis. Jordan Bastian of mlb.com reported the yet to be announced move to account for Chisenhall’s injury.

With Michael Brantley a fixture in left field, Bradley Zimmer might be given more allowance in center. If so, Tyler Naquin, Abraham Almonte, Austin Jackson, and Brandon Guyer will be left to fight for the scraps of playing time that remain. The Indians have some incredible depth, it will now be tested.