CLEVELAND: The major earthquake has passed, but the Indians still are dealing with the aftershocks.
Within two days, injuries wiped out the middle of the Tribe lineup – Asdrubal Cabrera with a strained hamstring, Travis Hafner with a sore knee and Carlos Santana with a concussion — and Monday, Jack Hannahan went on the disabled list with a sore calf.
Hannahan had been out of the lineup for 11 games with back soreness and returned for one game Sunday in Chicago before being forced to go on the 15-day DL.
Should Hannahan have gone on the DL immediately after hurting his back?
“That was a different injury,” General Manager Chris Antonetti explained. “Each day it felt like he would be able to play the next day, and he did [before 15 days]. Now he tweaked his calf and, he is on the DL.”
There can be no certainty about Hannahan’s return date, but indications are that he won’t have to spend more than 15 days on the DL.
“I’m optimistic,” Antonetti said. “It seems to be a mild strain.”
Hannahan’s continued absence would have left Jose Lopez as the only third baseman on the roster, but the Tribe called up Lonnie Chisenhall from Columbus.
Chisenhall missed three weeks from late April through mid-May with a strained left calf, but in six games since his return to the Clippers’ lineup, he is batting .318 (7-for-22) with three doubles and five RBI. Overall, he batted .324 with 12 doubles, four home runs and 17 RBI in 28 games (111 at-bats) at Triple-A.
Manager Manny Acta installed him as the designated hitter in Monday’s game against the Royals.
“We’re going to find at-bats for Lonnie,” Acta said. “Right now, the way our lineup is, he can make some contributions. He’ll play third and some DH, too.”
Neither Lopez nor Chisenhall is a wizard with the glove. Chisenhall bats from the left side, and Lopez is a right-handed batter. And as long as Hafner is sidelined, there probably will be days when both players are in the lineup.
In his rookie season last year, Chisenhall batted .255 with 13 doubles, seven home runs and 22 RBI in 212 at-bats. Against lefties, he batted .260 in 50 at-bats; against righties, he hit .253 in 162 at-bats.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at https://ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.