With two weeks until Opening Day the Indians are dealing with the positives and negatives of injuries. Here are notes from over the weekend that had the team split between San Antonio Texas and Goodyear, Arizona.
Let’s start with the Injuries…
Expected to start in left field on Monday, March 20 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers in Goodyear Ballpark.
Day-to-day with bilateral knee soreness
Jason received a second opinion on his lingering right shoulder discomfort with Dr. Keith Meister in Goodyear, AZ on Friday evening, March 17. Dr. Meister concurred with our doctors in that Jason is dealing with shoulder inflammation. Dr. Meister cleared him to advance his strengthening program in preparation for return to hit and throwing programs in about one week. At this point, we believe Jason is approximately 4-5 weeks away from resuming Major League game.
Cody received a second opinion on his right elbow from Dr. Meister in Goodyear, AZ. Dr. Meister confirmed the diagnosis of a UCL sprain along with a mild flexor strain. Cody has elected to go with surgical intervention (UCL reconstruction) and will miss the 2017 season.
-The Brantley news is huge as Terry Francona hopes to play him in 3 games this week.
-Naquin claimed to be absolutely fine and is expected to play later this week.
-The Kipnis news may seem bad but really the 2nd opinion just confirmed what the team thought the entire time and his timeline hasn’t changed.
-The Cody Anderson news is tough but the big man from California wants his surgery done now so he can be ready to compete next season. This hurts the team’s starting pitching depth.
-Names to pay attention to this week. Yandy Diaz, Gio Urshela, and Richie Shaffer. With the Kipnis injury and the team moving Jose Ramirez over to 2nd base the last few days, the 3 names above will get an opportunity to play 3rd base until Kipnis returns.
-I’d say Urshela is the lead horse; Shaffer has a hot bat and brings versatility as he can play the corners in the infield and outfield. And the dark horse who may force his way onto the roster regardless is Diaz. He went 3-4 with a RBI on Sunday.
The Tribe will face the Dodgers on Monday with Trevor Bauer on the mound and Michael Brantley making his first Spring Training appearance. Then the team will have Tuesday off.