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.