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Indians place Jason Kipnis on 15-day DL

Worse news than most of us expected...

Leon Halip

The Indians have placed second baseman Jason Kipnis on the 15-day DL with a abdominal strain suffered Tuesday night. That move was expected, but it now seems he might miss a full month. The typical recovery for the type of injury he suffered is 3 to 5 weeks, and Kipnis says he hopes to be back by Memorial Day (Monday, May 26). Kipnis was the team's best overall player last season, and losing him for an extended time period is a big blow to a team already struggling.

Jose Ramirez has been called up to take Kipnis' place (see sidebar for more on Ramirez). It's not clear what his role will be; he could see substantial time as the starter, but might also just fill in as a late-inning defensive replacement and/or pinch runner. Tonight Elliot Johnson will take over at second base. Mike Aviles is also be in the mix for playing time there, but he's playing third base tonight, with Lonnie Chisenhall out of the lineup on account of a left-handed starting pitcher.

Whether it's Aviles, Johnson, Ramirez, or a combination of the three, the Tribe offense is likely to suffer, because Kipnis has a much better bat than any of those three. Nick Swisher has been moved into the #3 spot in the lineup tonight, with Aviles pencilled in as the #2 hitter. That is not an ideal lineup, and with the Indians already riding a six-game losing streak, things are pretty grim right now.