Days after getting outfielder Michael Brantley back from the disabled list, the Indians have learned that they’ll be without right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall for four to six weeks. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com first tweeted the timetable, which came from the mouth of Indians manager Terry Francona. Chisenhall left Saturday’s game against the Royals early, and was officially placed on the disabled list early this morning (the club recalled Tyler Naquin to take his place in right field for the time being).
It’s an upsetting development for the Tribe, who saw Chisenhall miss significant time last season with the same issue. The re-aggravation of the injury during a seemingly routine few innings in right field doesn’t bode well for Chisenhall’s 2018 season. The timing is also unfortunate for him financially, as he’s set to become a free agent this winter and would like to erase the injury concerns from the memories of potential suitors.
Chisenhall was a notable beneficiary of the fly ball revolution last season, as he decreased his ground ball rate from 23.9% in 2016 to just 15.8% in 2017, and correspondingly increased his line drive rate and fly ball rate by four percentage points apiece. That adjustment resulted in a career-best .288/.360/.520 batting line. The Indians will certainly be hoping they can get his bat back in the lineup on the shorter end of the injury timetable.