CLEVELAND -- The injuries have been piling up at a rapid rate for the Indians. That is part of the reason that second baseman Jason Kipnis has been trying to stay on the field as much as possible, even with his right hamstring still causing problems at times.The Indians' 9-1
CLEVELAND -- The injuries have been piling up at a rapid rate for the Indians. That is part of the reason that second baseman Jason Kipnis has been trying to stay on the field as much as possible, even with his right hamstring still causing problems at times.
The Indians' 9-1 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday was insult enough. Frustrating for Cleveland was that it included the latest injury to strike the Tribe, as Kipnis bowed out after his persistent leg problem flared up in the first inning, which resulted in him being placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. The Indians recalled utility man Erik Gonzalez from Triple-A Columbus in a corresponding move.
"He was feeling really good," Indians manager Terry Francona said after Tuesday's game. "I think that's maybe what got him in a little bit of trouble, because he kind of reached for another gear and he felt it."
• Miller (knee), Salazar (elbow) put on DL
Injuries are certainly not unique to Cleveland, but the health woes have been substantial of late. It is reminiscent of last season, when Michael Brantley missed the bulk of the season, and pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar were robbed of being a part of the Tribe's postseason rotation. The Indians overcame those setbacks en route to a World Series berth.
A few hours before Kipnis left the field, the Indians placed Andrew Miller (right knee) and Salazar (right elbow) on the 10-day DL. They joined fellow DL inhabitants Josh Tomlin (left hamstring), Lonnie Chisenhall (right calf), Abraham Almonte (left hamstring), Boone Logan (left lat) and Brantley (right ankle).
Cleveland also endured a couple health scares within the last week involving ace Corey Kluber (mild right ankle sprain on Friday) and Jose Ramirez (hit on the right forearm by a pitch on Thursday). Carlos Santana was also out of the starting lineup on Tuesday against the Red Sox due to lower back tightness.
With a second straight American League Central crown within reach, Francona knows his team is being tested. That did not stop Francona from injecting some humor into the situation.
"It happens to most teams," Francona said. "You've got to fight through it. I think when things like this happen, you reach to the famous philosopher, Joe Dirt: 'You just keep on, keepin' on.' We'll be all right."
Kipnis was in Tuesday's lineup as the designated hitter, but he left after only one at-bat due to tightness in his right hamstring. The second baseman missed most of July after straining that hamstring on July 8 against the Tigers and landed on the 10-day DL.
In the first inning, Kipnis grounded out against Doug Fister and appeared to be favoring his leg as he hustled up the first-base line. When the third inning rolled around, Yandy Diaz replaced Kipnis as a pinch-hitter. Francona held Kipnis out of the lineup on Monday and has pulled him in later innings in a handful of games this month to guard against the injury.
Carrasco said he expects other players to step up like they did a year ago when he was hurt.
"We expect the same," Carrasco said. "From today, now, we have to play hard while a lot of guys are missing. I saw that last year. I think this is the time to show that. That's what we need to do."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.