A slew of injuries from Friday's Cactus League action could have an impact on Terry Francona's Opening Day roster construction.
The Indians skipper shed light on what to expect from Lonnie Chisenhall (right shoulder sprain), Jason Kipnis (right shoulder inflammation) and Erik Gonzalez (right hand) over the next few days in his press conference on Saturday morning.
- Although a timetable for return has yet to be mapped out, Francona confirmed that Chisenhall will be shut down for three days before conducting a reevaluation of the injury. Chisenhall slammed into the right field wall at Sloan Park and departed Friday's game with stiffness in his throwing shoulder.
"[The medical staff] termed it mild, which is good," said Francona about Chisenhall's AC joint sprain. "I'm guessing after that third day we'll have a much better idea which direction that thing goes."
If Chisenhall were to miss more than his three days of allotted recovery time, then names like Austin Jackson and Abraham Almonte would likely be a shoo-in to make the major league team coming out of camp.
- Jason Kipnis resumed baseball activities on Saturday by taking swings in the batting cage and throwing lightly with his teammates.
"He's now starting a progression," Francona said. "The quickness of it will be determined by certainly how he's feeling and you can't really skip steps. But it's nice to see he's starting that and he's feeling good."
The Tribe's second baseman was diagnosed with right shoulder inflammation on Mar. 12 and could return at some point in mid-to-late April depending on his four to five weeks of rehabilitation.
- There is little concern for Erik Gonzalez after the 25-year-old utility candidate took a ball off his right hand on Friday. Despite leaving the game, Gonzalez had his hand taped up with the intention to take batting practice less than 24 hours later.
"He wanted to hit today," said Francona. "He's feeling pretty good."
- Austin Jackson's minor league contract with the Indians has an opt-out clause beginning on Sunday, meaning he has the option to leave the club if he feels his chances of making the roster are slim.
"I think he's been fine," Francona said. "Now saying that, we probably haven't seen certainly every instance that can happen or can arise or how you get tested. Spring training's just not going to do that."
The 30-year-old journeyman underwent season-ending surgery on the medial meniscus tear in his left knee in 2016, but has impressed Francona with a .375 (9-for-24) batting average and five RBIs this spring.
"It's not his fault, he's done everything really well," said Francona in regards to Jackson's short-term success. "He's hit it and he's hit it with authority. He hasn't not made a play anywhere."
John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.