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Francisco Lindor Jerseys rather be missing April
As Jason Kipnis prepared to head outside for a workout on Friday, the
Indians' clubhouse at Goodyear Ballpark was a hive of activity.
Teammates were cleaning out their lockers and stuffing gear into
equipment bags. Staffers were rolling away carts loaded with boxes.
"I'm ignoring it," Kipnis said. "I'm trying to go numb to seeing all
these boxes and everyone leaving. I'm just kind of staying in my bubble
and focusing on what I need to do to get back."
A right shoulder injury cost Kipnis time this spring, and he will begin
this season on the 10-day disabled
list. That was a frustrating turn of events
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for the second baseman, but he is in full agreement with how Cleveland's medical staff handled his situation.
If everything goes according to plan, Kipnis hopes to be activated in mid-to-late April.
"The big picture was taken into affect here," Kipnis said. "I'd much
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rather be missing April games than October games. I know the team
agrees with me on that one. I'd love to be back right now and coming out
the gates with these guys, but circumstances say that it'll take a
little longer for me to get going."
Kipnis has advanced to playing catch from a distance of more than 100
feet in his throwing program, and he has resumed hitting overhand
tosses in the batting cage.
"He's starting to get antsy, which is good," Indians manager Terry
Francona said. "I think he's actually doing really well. When he starts
to get antsy and wanting to get going, that's a good sign. Now, we've
got to do it right, though. So, we will."
While Kipnis is
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sidelined, third baseman Jose Ramirez will take over at second. That
scenario opened the door for rookie Yandy Diaz to win the Opening Day
job at third base this spring. Heading into Friday's Cactus League
finale against the D-backs, Diaz was batting .444 with a 1.204 OPS
through 45 at-bats this preseason.
"He's earned the callup. I'm excited to see how he performs," Kipnis
said. "He's definitely created some buzz about himself with the bat with
the spring that he's had. He looks like a professional hitter. That's
exactly what you want to see. I hear he's been putting in a lot of work
defensively, and that's what we're going to need out of him for him to
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