CLEVELAND -- The Indians have sent two players to Dr. Thomas Graham -- a hand specialist based in New York -- over the last week. Fortunately for Cleveland, the second time went much better than the first.
Last Monday, third baseman Jose Ramirez underwent surgery on his fractured hamate bone. On Sunday evening, second baseman Jason Kipnis headed into Graham’s office to get his right wrist checked after grabbing it in pain following a swing and miss on Saturday in Tampa.
The Indians could breathe a sigh of relief when they learned it was tendinitis and that Kipnis could be back in the lineup as soon as Wednesday.
“We’re pretty fortunate, maybe the best hand guy in the country and on a Sunday night, Kip could see him,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He’s got some tendinitis that he’s dealing with, that we knew. And nothing more. We’re going to have him be down today, probably hit tomorrow and hopefully, if all goes well, he’ll play the next day.”
The issue has been a lingering one over the past few weeks for Kipnis, who immediately knew it wasn’t another hamate situation.
“I think that last at-bat, the swings and misses, kind of when it overextends, it really gets you a little bit,” Kipnis said after getting pulled from Saturday’s contest.
Mike Freeman replaced Kipnis in the seventh inning at Tropicana Field and remained at second over the next two games. The Indians also have Yu Chang, who has experience at second base, and called up infielder Ryan Flaherty on Sunday, who could fill in if necessary.
“We’d like to let the oral meds to kick in so he can maybe get rid of this, put this in the rearview mirror,” Francona said.
Carrasco excited for return … but likely not on Monday
“I ran to the mound, my whole body started shaking like crazy.”
Prior to Monday's series opener against the White Sox, Carlos Carrasco took a few moments to reflect on his first appearance back on a big league rubber since being diagnosed with leukemia in June. But no matter how emotional that outing was in Tampa, the right-hander knows it’s going to be even more special in front of a home crowd.
“I'm looking to get on the mound here so bad,” Carrasco said. “I just want to pitch again. my whole body felt great yesterday and I can't wait to pitch here, too.”
But that excitement may have to wait another 24-48 hours. Francona said that the Indians are going to handle this situation as if Carrasco is coming out of Spring Training, which would mean not pitching a guy in back-to-back games for the first week of game play.
“I don’t think we’d do that right away,” Francona said. “I bet you he could. I don’t think that’s in his best interest. … We’ll use judgement there. We’d certainly like to get to a point where we can. Just not the first week.”
Luplow activated from injured list
After losing Tyler Naquin to an ACL tear, the Tribe gained another outfielder Monday afternoon, as the club activated Jordan Luplow off the injured list. The 25-year-old had been sidelined with a right hamstring strain since Aug. 6 and went 2-for-11 in four rehab games at Triple-A Columbus.
“[He didn’t play] a ton [of rehab games] but just looking at it logically, he doesn’t need to because he’ll play against the lefties,” Francona said. “Hopefully, with his bat being a part of it, the lefty’s not out there nine innings because we’ll mix and match in that position. He felt like he was ready enough to help, so I think it can give us a lift.”
This date in Indians history
2006: Kevin Kouzmanoff mashed a grand slam in the first inning of the Tribe’s 6-5 win over the Rangers, becoming the 23rd player in Major League history to homer in his first career at-bat and the third to hit a grand slam.