GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians’ middle infield outlook for Opening Day only continues to become murkier.
In addition to the ongoing rehab of shortstop Francisco Lindor, who strained his right calf just prior to camp and has yet to appear in a Cactus League game, second baseman Jason Kipnis has had his own issues with his right calf throughout the spring.
The situation popped up again Wednesday night, when Kipnis left the Indians game after his first at-bat. On Thursday, Indians manager Terry Francona said Kipnis would be receiving an MRI.
“That’s the first step, to get him imaged, just to see what’s going on in there, rather than [make] the medical people guess because of where we are in spring training,” Francona said.
Eric Stamets, likewise, also left a game Wednesday night with a left hip issue. Francona, though, said Thursday it wasn’t anything the team deemed to be serious.
“They think it’s really mild,” Francona said. “It doesn’t seem to be something that’s going to linger. ... And he could play. He’s played so much already this spring, [playing him in a] day game after a night game didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.”
Stamets is still in the running for a spot on the Opening Day roster, particularly if Lindor isn’t ready. Utility infielder Max Moroff should at least have a spot to cover one of the two middle infield positions, with his exact role still to be determined.
Stamets, though, could be added as a defensive option, especially if Kipnis’ imaging isn’t positive news. Both Moroff and Stamets are already on the 40-man roster.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.