Jason Kipnis announced the move himself on Twitter:
I’m Coming Cleveland!!
With Grady Sizemore on the shelf and the Indians in need of a bat, Kipnis will join the team tomorrow. What exactly he’ll be doing is still unclear. Kipnis is a former outfielder who moved to second base last year. The Indians could decide to start him at second over Orlando Cabrera, but they also have an obvious need in the outfield now and may stash him there instead.
The 24-year-old Kipnis was hitting .279/.361/.481 with 12 homers and 12 steals for Triple-A Columbus. He was actually ice cold as of late, having gone 3-for-31 since play resumed following the All-Star break. He hit .297/.380/.506 during the first half of the season.
While he’s a left-handed hitter, Kipnis has actually done his best work against southpaws this season, hitting .313/.388/.536 with five homers. He’s at .262/.348/.454 versus righties.
The Indians wouldn’t call him up now unless they intended to play him regularly. Whether it’s at second base or in left field, expect to see him in the lineup nearly everyday.
Update: The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes reports that Kipnis will play mostly second base and that it “doesn’t sound like he’ll see much, if any, time” in the outfield.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.