Tribe waiting before finalizing plans for injured Kipnis
ANAHEIM -- Jason Kipnis was feeling better on Wednesday morning, but the Indians plan on waiting a little longer before determining whether a trip to the disabled list will be necessary for the sidelined All-Star second baseman.
During Tuesday's 6-4 loss to the Angels, Kipnis exited in the fourth inning after sustaining a right abdominal strain on a swing that resulted in a double play groundout. The second baseman has been receiving treatment for the injury, but he has not yet undergone an MRI exam.
With an off-day on Thursday, Cleveland could wait until Friday to determine whether Kipnis should be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
"We could wait longer than that," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "There's no rush to put a guy on the DL. We can handle it. We'll just kind of see how he responds."
Francona said the good news was that Kipnis felt improvement when he woke up on Wednesday.
"We've all seen it and been around it," Francona said, "where, during the action of a game, a guy feels like it's minimal. Then they wake up in the morning and feel like they've got a knife stuck in them. He doesn't feel like that, so that's good."
After Tuesday's game, Kipnis compared the immediate discomfort to being punched in the back. The second baseman said on Wednesday that the pain had decreased, but he acknowledged that he was still sore. Utility man Elliot Johnson was in the lineup at second base in place of Kipnis for Wednesday's game in Anaheim.
"I feel all right," Kipnis said. "You're always going to feel a little bit sore in the morning after something like this happens, but I feel all right. I'm getting a lot of treatment right now. I think that's going to help it a lot. With today off and tomorrow off, we'll see how it feels and go from there."
Through 27 games this season, Kipnis has hit .234 with three home runs, six doubles, four stolen bases, 12 RBIs and 12 runs scored for Cleveland.
Francona added that Cleveland might be fortunate in the sense that Kipnis sustained the injury on a swing during which he made contact with a pitch. A missed swing that results in a side injury can often lead to a more severe oblique issue for players.
"That might've helped," Francona said. "The fact that he hit the ball and didn't miss, maybe we caught a break. Who knows? But maybe we did."