MINNEAPOLIS: Lonnie Chisenhall finally is back with the Indians after recovering from a broken right wrist sustained when he was hit by a pitch from the Baltimore Orioles’ Jake Arrieta on June 29.
Although Chisenhall was not in the lineup Sunday against the Minnesota Twins, he was activated from the disabled list after playing three postseason games at Double-A Akron on a rehab assignment.
“Right now, he’ll play tomorrow but not the next day,” manager Manny Acta said. “He’ll play three times a week to start out.”
Acta does not expect Chisenhall to hit his stride the moment he takes the field.
“I think the last two weeks of the season will be more of what we want to see from him,” Acta said.
Acta is not planning to use Chisenhall in a specific number of games or make sure he gets a minimum number of plate appearances.
“Nothing is set in stone about how many at-bats he’s going to get,” Acta said. “He feels pretty good. He feels ready to go. He is not limited [in how he can be used]. But we saw last year after [Asdrubal] Cabrera broke his arm that it takes time to get your strength back.”
Having played only 24 major-league games this season and 30 at Triple-A (where he batted .313 with four homers and 17 RBI), Chisenhall will play winter ball to ensure that he is ready for spring training.
When Jack Hannahan won the third-base job in training camp, Chisenhall was sent to Columbus but missed time with an injury before making his first Tribe appearance May 28 as the designated hitter after Hannahan went down with an injury.
Chisenhall was just beginning to settle into playing third when he broke his wrist a month later. He was batting .278 with three home runs and nine RBI when he got hurt.
How important is it that Chisenhall shake off the rust and be ready in February when camp begins? It’s unlikely that Hannahan will be around to challenge him for third. Even if he is, it’s time that Chisenhall assert himself as the Indians’ third baseman of the future.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.