The sore right shoulder that has bothered Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis this spring will likely keep him out to begin the regular season, manager Terry Francona revealed Sunday (via Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer). Kipnis made his Cactus League debut as a designated hitter Thursday, before which he told Hoynes that throwing the ball – not swinging the bat – has caused him pain. However, on the heels of the Indians playing Kipnis in back-to-back games as a DH (the second of which took place Friday), they’ll shut him down for two weeks. While “nothing has gone haywire” in Kipnis’ recovery, according to Francona, the team is being careful because “it’s such a long season.”
More injury updates:
- As is the case with Kipnis, the latest news on Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman’s shoulder isn’t ideal. The O’s shut Tillman down after he made approximately 10 throws during a long toss session on Sunday, per Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The next update on Tillman will come Monday, notes Kubatko, who reported Saturday that he’s likely to open the season on the disabled list. Baltimore won’t need a fifth starter until April 15, though, and it’s possible Tillman will be ready to go by then. If not, it would make for an inauspicious start to the final year of his contract.
- With Opening Day nearing, Blue Jays superstar third baseman Josh Donaldson is beginning to ramp up activities as he works his way back from the strained right calf he suffered three weeks ago, writes Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. “I’m probably at 40 percent or 50 percent running right now,” said Donaldson. “And obviously, it’s got to get to the point where I can run 100 percent. I feel like, hopefully, that should be sometime next week, the way that it’s progressing now.”
- It appears the right lat muscle soreness Cardinals righty Trevor Rosenthal has been battling will kill his chances of winning a place in the team’s rotation. Moreover, it could stop the ex-closer from beginning the year as a multi-inning fireman, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Rosenthal – now, saying could he get the innings he needs to contribute as a starter or a multiple-inning relief appearance? “I think that is still in question,” said manager Mike Matheny. “It’s very important that at some point this week he gets into a game and we can get that pitch count up.” Regardless of whether Rosenthal is well enough by April to toss multiple innings in an appearance, someone figures to serve as that type of weapon for the Cardinals. General manager John Mozeliak called it “very appealing” to Matheny, and Goold adds that John Gant, Matthew Bowman, Miguel Socolovich, Tyler Lyons and Sam Tuivailala are possibilities to fill that role.
- Rockies reliever Chad Qualls has been on the shelf since suffering an elbow injury March 1, and his return isn’t imminent, skipper Bud Black told Nick Groke of the Denver Post. Qualls is still feeling “elbow discomfort,” leading the Rockies to take a cautious approach with the 38-year-old. Even though Qualls is due a $3.25MM salary this season, his roster spot was in jeopardy before the injury and that remains the case, according to Groke. Despite having induced grounders at a 55 percent clip and limiting walks (2.48 per nine), Qualls pitched to an ugly ERA (5.23) over 32 2/3 frames last season.