CHICAGO: Tests on Indians first baseman Nick Swisher’s knees indicated no structural damage, so Indians manager Terry Francona is hopeful that Swisher’s 15-day stint on the disabled list will be all that’s needed.
Swisher was placed on the disabled list Tuesday and flew back to Cleveland to undergo MRIs on both knees Wednesday. He hyper-extended the left knee Monday against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field when he hit the bag trying to beat out a grounder to third. He injured the right knee in a May 21 game against the Tigers as he rounded first base.
Francona said Swisher had both knees injected with cortisone.
“Structurally, there wasn’t anything out of whack, so that was really good. There’s some arthritic changes, which we knew, you can’t play this long,” Francona said of the 10-year veteran. “He got both knees injected. That puts him down three to five days to let that thing calm down. The initial view is it won’t be an extended DL. Hopefully when his two weeks are up, he might be rarin’ to go. We’ll hope.”
SANTANA UPDATE — Francona said Carlos Santana, on the seven-day concussion disabled list, wanted to ride home from Chicago with his wife, but the trainers said he needed to fly home with the team.
“On top of that, he was sick,” Francona said. “We all know how you feel when you’re sick. Can you imagine when you have a concussion, your back hurts, you have the flu? I think he probably felt like he got hit by a truck.”
KIPNIS ACTIVATED — All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis was activated from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday and infielder Justin Sellers was optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Kipnis has been out since May 2 with a strained right oblique.
Wednesday, Francona batted Kipnis at cleanup, a spot he’d never held in his career, according to baseball-reference.com.
“Chicago only has one lefty [reliever] and he’s thrown both nights,” Francona explained of putting Kipnis in the No. 4 spot. “We have so many lefties, so I’m going to try to line them up to beat the starter [right-hander Hector Noesi].
“My thought process is you’re trying to beat the starter and have a lineup where they can’t maneuver your bullpen without having to think about things. Carlos and Swish are our switch-hitters who are normally sandwiched in between. It may not be perfect for a while.”
ANOTHER SPOT — Francona said he has no qualms about inserting third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall at first, as he did in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s rain-delayed game. Chisenhall said he was told beforehand to be ready.
“Odds went up when we lost Swish and Santana,” Chisenhall said. “I felt fine. You need the game reps, you want to get live balls off the bat. Two innings here and there definitely helped, but getting over there for five innings will help me moving forward.”
Bunts may be the toughest challenge because Chisenhall is operating backward from how he plays at third.
“There’s going to be some instances I’m going to have to make a decision on the fly or learn after the fact,” Chisenhall said.
McALLISTER BETTER — Right-hander Zach McAllister, on the 15-day disabled list with a low back strain, is scheduled to throw a simulated game Friday in Cleveland, perhaps against some members of the Single-A Lake County Captains. If they’re not available, McAllister will still pitch off the mound at Progressive Field.
— Marla Ridenour