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Kipnis to make spring debut as DH

Tribe second baseman to test rotator cuff Thursday
MLB.com

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There's about three weeks left in training camp and Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is about to take his first live swings as the designated hitter in Cactus League games on Thursday against the Angels and possibly Friday against the Giants.

Kipnis has been nursing soreness in his right rotator cuff. A left-handed hitter, he said on Wednesday that the injury hasn't affected the follow-through on his swing, but he's still having trouble throwing. Thus, there's still no timetable when he'll be back in the infield.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There's about three weeks left in training camp and Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is about to take his first live swings as the designated hitter in Cactus League games on Thursday against the Angels and possibly Friday against the Giants.

Kipnis has been nursing soreness in his right rotator cuff. A left-handed hitter, he said on Wednesday that the injury hasn't affected the follow-through on his swing, but he's still having trouble throwing. Thus, there's still no timetable when he'll be back in the infield.

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"I have no clue," he said in the Indians' clubhouse hours before they took on the Mariners. "It depends on how the shoulder feels and what the training staff and what we decide on. I don't think any of us are worried that it's not going to happen. I just think we're going through the right steps to get there."

Kipnis, 29, said the injury was the result of playing in 763 games in his first five-plus seasons, and cropped up when he arrived in camp in mid-February.

"I usually have some fatigue or soreness every year when I get here," he said. "Something like this seems to occur every year. It happens almost regardless of what I do in the offseason. It's kind of routine at this point. I can name three body parts that are going to get screwed up when I get to Arizona."

Kipnis is usually pretty durable. He played in 156 games last season, 151 starts at second base, then 15 more in the postseason, which came down to the bottom of the 10th of Game 7 before the Indians lost to the Cubs in the World Series.

The final game was played on Nov. 2, making it a short offseason for Kipnis and his teammates. There's no rush, said Indians manager Terry Francona.

"I don't think we've put a timetable on him," Francona said. "Since we have the long spring, we just want to give him time so his shoulder is strong and he can play the usual 156 games for us."

Anderson shut down

Indians pitcher Cody Anderson has been shut down in his return from offseason surgery on his right elbow. He had debridement surgery in November and was ready for camp, although it probably was an uphill battle for him to make the Opening Day roster. His status is now very much up in the air.

"We're trying to work through that," Francona said. "We're probably going to have more information [Thursday]. "We sat down with him today. Can you re-ask that tomorrow? Then I can probably give you a much better answer."

Anderson opened last season as the No. 4 starter in the rotation, but was sent to the Minors where in June he sustained the original elbow injury. By the end of the season, Anderson was in the Tribe's bullpen. He made six September appearances, but only one start.

Tribe completes signing of all players on 40-man roster

The Indians announced Thursday they have signed all their players with three years or less experience, meaning that everyone on the 40-man roster is under contract for at least the 2017 season.

The final 22 signees include: Abraham Almonte, Anderson, Shawn Armstrong, Dylan Baker, Mike Clevinger, Joseph Colon, Tim Cooney, Kyle Crockett, Carlos Frias, Perci Garner, Erik Gonzalez, Nick Goody, Francisco Lindor, Francisco Mejia, Ryan Merritt, Hoby Milner, Shawn Morimando, Tyler Naquin, Roberto Perez, Adam Plutko, Jose Ramirez, and Giovanny Urshela.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Cleveland Indians, Jason Kipnis