GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Lonnie Chisenhall does not like that he will open the season on the disabled list, but the right fielder understands the Indians' decision. Left wrist and right forearm issues have taken a toll on his spring season, reducing the number of at-bats he has been able to
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Lonnie Chisenhall does not like that he will open the season on the disabled list, but the right fielder understands the Indians' decision. Left wrist and right forearm issues have taken a toll on his spring season, reducing the number of at-bats he has been able to collect.
Tribe manager Terry Francona revealed on Monday that Chisenhall would start the regular season on the 15-day DL, barring something unexpected, and the outfielder knows the move makes sense. He can garner at-bats in Minor League games, continue to feel comfortable with his swing and return to the Indians after a pair of regular-season series that will feature a handful of left-handed pitchers.
"They're very creative," Chisenhall said of Cleveland's coaching staff and front office. "With looking at the matchups and the thought behind it and everything, hopefully it'll work out and we get those wins in April."
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Chisenhall, who battled tightness in his right forearm a couple weeks ago and indicated he has also dealt with a left wrist issue, believes he will be able to be activated on April 12, when he will be first eligible. That is when the Indians travel to St. Petersburg for a three-game set with the Rays, following back-to-back series against the Red Sox and White Sox, who feature an assortment of lefties.
Cleveland plans on using Chisenhall mostly against right-handed pitching, so it is possible he would have been on the bench for a handful of games through the first two series of the regular season. By placing him on the DL, the Indians are giving him additional time to feel healthy, while outfielders Rajai Davis, Collin Cowgill and Marlon Byrd handle the lefty pitching.
"You try to find the positive in it," Chisenhall said. "You take pride in not being on the DL. When you go through something like that, you just try to make the best of it. If that's getting as many at-bats and being ready on April 12 after the time's up, then you're ready to go. You just keep pushing forward. It's just another obstacle."
Chisenhall will be eligible for activation on April 12, because his last Cactus League appearance fell on Sunday, when he went 1-for-4 against the Brewers. The right fielder will travel with the Indians to Texas for the club's exhibition games on Friday and Saturday, but he will not play in those games. He will also be on hand for Monday's regular-season opener against the Red Sox in Cleveland.
When the Minor League season begins on April 7, Chisenhall will likely begin a rehab assignment.
"I asked to travel with the team," Chisenhall said. "I want to be with the team for Opening Day. You don't want to be separated and feel kind of left out. Opening Day is special. I wanted to be there. Corey [Kluber] is opening it up for us in front of a sold-out crowd."
Chisenhall, who went 2-for-26 at the plate this spring, was thrilled to collect a hit in his last Cactus League game. More importantly, though, the right fielder was happy that his swing felt more comfortable in light of the forearm and wrist problems this spring.
"Going through spring, it's just been something every day," Chisenhall said. "I've spent too much time in the training room chasing my tail. There was too much going on to begin with. I've been pain-free for a couple days and able to work on a swing that I feel comfortable with. I look forward to using it in the season."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.