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Santana, Hanley pass U.S. citizenship test

Kipnis in Triple-A Columbus lineup as rehab assignment begins
@MandyBell02
April 5, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The Indians' offense has been carried by Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Santana through the first handful of games of the 2019 season, but the pair accomplished an even bigger feat off the field this week. Indians manager Terry Francona announced Friday afternoon that Ramirez and Santana each passed

CLEVELAND -- The Indians' offense has been carried by Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Santana through the first handful of games of the 2019 season, but the pair accomplished an even bigger feat off the field this week.

Indians manager Terry Francona announced Friday afternoon that Ramirez and Santana each passed the U.S. citizenship test and both will be officially sworn in on April 19. Ramirez, 35, was born in Samana, Dominican Republic, and Santana, 32, is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

"Hanley had to do it at home on the off-day. Carlos did it here," Francona said. "They were both pretty proud."

One of the steps to become a U.S. citizen is passing a 10-question civics test by answering at least six correctly. Although Francona would've passed if he took Santana's test, he didn't do as well as his first baseman.

"I was talking to Santana yesterday," Francona said. "I said, 'I'm calling [bullcrap]. Somebody did the test for you.' So he came in and he had the questions on his phone, so we looked through the first 10. He got nine of them right. I got seven."

Carlos Carrasco, a native of Venezuela, went through the process in 2016 and was so proud to have passed that he dressed up in an Uncle Sam costume to celebrate. Maybe he'll be able to convince his teammates to borrow his outfit.

Ramirez gets precautionary X-rays

Francona said that Jose Ramirez was taken for precautionary X-rays on Friday after fouling a ball off his left foot in Thursday's 4-1 victory against the Blue Jays, but everything came back OK.

"He woke up and he was really stiff and sore, which is not shocking when you look at the weather and everything," Francona said. "So, we took him for precautionary X-rays. He's actually moving around a lot better already. We'll see later on about pinch-hitting him. I'd just hate to turn a one-day thing into a four-day thing. But I think he's going to be fine."

Minor League roundup

• Outfielders Oscar Mercado, Carlos Gonzalez and Cameron Maybin and infielder Ryan Flaherty had solid starts to their 2019 seasons at Triple-A Columbus in the Clippers' opener on Thursday. Mercado, the club's No. 16 prospect per MLB Pipeline, went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. Gonzalez got the start in right field and also went 2-for-4 with a walk and one RBI. Maybin picked up two hits and knocked in two runs and Flaherty went 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the Clippers 10-4 victory over Indianapolis. Gonzalez will get the call up to the big league club before his opt-out date on April 20.

• Second baseman Jason Kipnis began his rehab assignment in the Columbus starting lineup on Friday. "We've got to do things right," Francona said. "Even when it's not convenient. You've heard me say it before. You've got to treat these guys and let them get not only their bats in shape, but their bodies used to what it takes to play."

This date in Indians history

2006: Jason Michaels delivered an RBI double in the top of the 11th inning at U.S. Cellular Field that lifted the Indians to a 4-3 victory over the White Sox.

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.