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Jason Kipnis will not be ready for Opening Day

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Indians’ second baseman Jason Kipnis is not expected to be ready for Opening Day, according to comments made by Terry Francona on Saturday. Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports that the infielder is scheduled to miss up to two weeks with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

The 29-year-old received a cortisone shot in his shoulder last month, but is still feeling discomfort after playing in back-to-back Cactus League games last week. He went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles and a walk and was expected to DH on Sunday before the team’s medical staff shut him down.

Kipnis batted .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs and an .811 OPS with the Indians in 2016. While this isn’t the first shoulder injury of the infielder’s career, Francona doesn’t expect that it will pose a significant problem down the road. Until Kipnis is cleared for a full return, Hoynes notes that the team could call on utility infielder Michael Martinez or third baseman Jose Ramirez to handle the keystone in his absence.

Report: Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

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The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.

According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.

The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.