Jason Kipnis scratched from Indians’ lineup Thursday

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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.

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.