As expected, rookie second baseman Jason Kipnis is back in the Indians’ starting lineup for Thursday night’s series finale against the White Sox.
Kipnis missed four straight games with soreness in his right oblique. The promising 24-year-old was cleared to return after making it through a workout Wednesday that consisted of batting practice, infield practice and some flat-ground throwing.
Kipnis is batting .279/.347/.603 with six home runs, 11 RBI and two stolen bases through the first 75 plate appearances of his big league career. He’s expected to get more time off in the coming days to allow his oblique injury ample time to heal, but the young infielder has ultimately avoided a trip to the disabled list.
UPDATE, 8:14pm: So much for that. According to the Indians’ official Twitter feed, Kipnis has been scratched from Thursday night’s lineup. Jason Donald will start at second base in his place.
UPDATE, 8:43pm: Kipnis was scratched Thursday due to right hamstring tightness, an ailment unrelated to his previous oblique muscle injuries. The rookie infielder can’t seem to catch a break.
Update (9:38 PM ET): The Tigers will receive minor leaguers Wilkel Hernandez and Troy Montgomery from the Angels, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Hernandez, 18, was signed by the Angels as an international free agent out of Venezuela in July 2015. This past year, in rookie ball, Hernandez posted a 2.64 ERA with a 44/22 K/BB ratio in 44 1/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rated him the Angels’ 24th-best prospect.
Montgomery, 23, was selected by the Angels in the eighth round of the 2016 draft. Between Single-A Burlington, High-A Inland Empire, and Double-A Mobile, Montgomery batted an aggregate .271/.358/.413 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 434 plate appearances. MLB Pipeline rated him as the Angels’ 20th-best prospect.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels will acquire second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers. It is not known yet what the Tigers will receive in return. Kinsler had to waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to happen.
Kinsler, 35, hit .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, 90 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 613 plate appearances for the Tigers this past season. He’s in the final year of his contract and will earn $10 million for the 2018 season.
The Angels were certainly looking to upgrade at second base and did so with Kinsler. They were also reportedly interested in Cesar Hernandez of the Phillies.