CLEVELAND -- Just a couple days after Indians manager Terry Francona said that both second baseman Jason Kipnis and right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall were both "weeks" away from returning from the disabled list, the skipper said on Monday that both players were close to beginning the next stage of their
CLEVELAND -- Just a couple days after Indians manager Terry Francona said that both second baseman Jason Kipnis and right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall were both "weeks" away from returning from the disabled list, the skipper said on Monday that both players were close to beginning the next stage of their respective rehabs.
Kipnis (right hamstring strain) and Chisenhall (right calf strain) both took batting practice on the field before Monday's game against the Reds. In addition, Kipnis did some running on the outfield grass, while Chisenhall played catch with a member of the team's training staff.
"We're going to hit in the cage tonight, but those two, and I think a couple of other guys might join them, are going to hit on the field," Francona said on Monday. "Then they are kind of graduating to baseball [activities]."
Kipnis suffered his hamstring injury while trying to beat out a grounder against the Tigers on July 8, and was placed on the disabled list the following day. Chisenhall sustained his injury -- one day after Kipnis' injury -- while backing up a play at first. He was later placed on the DL on July 14, after the All-Star break.
Francona said that he does not want to rush either player back, and that both Kipnis and Chisenhall have some more hurdles to clear before being activated.
"Tomorrow, Kip is going to take some ground balls," Francona said. "They are doing some things like left to right, maybe making some left turns. Just kind of graduate into the next set of volume, intensity. They're building into things before they actually do it on the field."
Before going down, Kipnis was hitting .232 with eight homers, 19 doubles, 26 RBIs and 32 runs scored in 66 games this season. Chisenhall was on pace for a career year, as he led the team with 51 RBIs in the first half. He has posted a slash line of .305/.376/.578 with 12 homers, 13 doubles and 29 runs scored in 64 games.
Jackson to be activated from DL on Tuesday
Francona announced that the team will activate outfielder Austin Jackson from the DL on Tuesday. The manager, however, did not announce a corresponding roster move as of yet.
"We're going to activate him tomorrow, so that's pretty close," Francona joked when asked how close Jackson was to returning.
Jackson -- who was placed on the DL on June 27 with a left quad strain he suffered while running the bases -- has hit .304 with three home runs, nine doubles and 15 RBIs in 37 games with the Indians this season.
"When [Jackson] came back last time, he was hitting the ball to right-center with authority, so it kind of gave us that bat," Francona said. "He has never really been a huge split guy, versus left, versus right. So you know, with Lonnie out, that can certainly help. We just have to get through the game tonight, and then figure out the best [course of action]. We already told him that he is going to be on [the roster], we just have to figure out the best way to get him on."
William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.