AKRON -- RubberDucks fans got double the big-league rehab appearances for the price of one on Wednesday as both Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall were in the lineup to continue their minor league rehab.
Unfortunately, things ended more abruptly than anticipated for Kipnis as the Tribe second baseman was hit in the left hand by a pitch in his first at-bat by former Indians prospect Justus Sheffield, who is now on the Trenton Thunder after being dealt to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller trade last season. Kipnis stayed in the game to run the bases and play two more innings of defense, but was lifted for pinch-hitter Yhoxian Medina in the bottom of the third.
It was later announced that he was removed for precautionary reasons with a left hand contusion. After being checked out by the team training staff following his third-inning exit, Kipnis left the ballpark early to return to Cleveland, possibly for further evaluation.
For Chisenhall, though, he recorded his allotted three at-bats and played six innings defensively in center field before departing as he went 0-for-3 with a strikeout, a fielder's choice and a groundout to first. The Indians right fielder has been sidelined with a shoulder strain he suffered during exhibition play in spring training.
"The shoulder feels healthy," said Chisenhall, " I was able to make a couple long throws out there and it didn't affect anything I was doing."
The 28-year-old only made one putout, but showed off his range running down a fly ball in left-center field in the second inning. While he is the Indians starting right fielder, he has seen time in center field starting there in two of his three rehab games thus far. Will we see him patrolling center in Cleveland anytime soon?
"There's times in the season where guys need an inning or two of extra rest whether we're winning big or losing big," Chisenhall explained, "Maybe that's it, maybe it's something else."
The North Carolina native did not confirm when his potential big league activation could be, but if all goes well, he could rejoin the Tribe as soon as Thursday.