The Cleveland Indians just announced that shortstop Francisco Lindor has sustained a right calf strain while preparing for Spring Training. They didn’t say exactly what happened and when, but they said it occurred “recently.”
Lindor was evaluated on Wednesday, and the injury was deemed a “moderate” calf strain. He has started his rehab. As far as his timeline goes, the Indians said he is expected to return to game activity in 7-to-9 weeks. That means, at best, he’ll be back in action just days before the regular season starts but he potentially won’t even be available on Opening Day. Either way, he’s basically going to lose almost all game action in Spring Training, and thus might be rusty when he does return.
This is a pretty big blow to the Indians to say the least. Lindor hit 38 homers and posted an .871 OPS last year, winning a Silver Slugger Award, making the All-Star team and coming in 6th in MVP voting and posting a 7.9 WAR. The club was already heading into spring training with a suspect outfield, which puts a lot more pressure on offensive stalwarts Lindor and Jose Ramirez. With a late-starting Lindor, the Tribe’s offensive problems only intensify.