The Cleveland Indians injury report this morning revealed that Jason Kipnis will miss an additional 4-5 weeks with shoulder inflammation, and that Cody Anderson will undergo Tommy John Surgery. Additionally, Tyler Naquin sprained his knee.
Updates:— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) March 19, 2017
Michael is expected to start in left tomorrow.
Kip will resume hitting/throwing in a week. Approx. 4-5 weeks from game action. pic.twitter.com/dsvd2a1PM8
Couple more:— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) March 19, 2017
Tyler Naquin is day to day with knee soreness.
Cody Anderson has opted, after a second opinion, to undergo Tommy John surgery. pic.twitter.com/dq4W8CKcJ9
If you told me six months ago that I would sit here swirling coffee in a mug saying, “This is fine. I’m okay with the events that are unfolding currently” on the day that Brantley returned to action, I would have laughed, and laughed, and then suggested a number of well-rated local psychiatrists.
Kipnis, one of the reigning AL Champion’s clubhouse leaders, slashed .275/.343/.469 in 2016 with a career-high 23 HRs. Some speculated that Kipnis’s power spiked because it was the first time in a few years that he’d been fully healthy throughout the season.
Anderson dazzled in his 2015 debut, then struggled throughout 2016 despite adding velocity and muscle. There is now a question as to whether the Indians are better off keeping him on the 40-man roster and losing a year of service time, or demoting him to Triple-A and losing another of his options.
Initially prognoses stated that Kipnis would miss Opening Day, and that Anderson simply had a mild sprain of the UCL. For Kipnis, fans speculated that another bat would need to join the roster from Triple-A to either backfill third base for a temporary move to second by Jose Ramirez, or that we would all gather somewhere in the woods and drink Kool-Aid upon hearing the phrase, “Opening Day Starter Michael Martinez”. For Anderson, it’s fair to say that fans were quite a bit more worried; it is not very often that any kind of damage to the UCL ends well. It did sound, however, that the issue might not be severe enough to warrant surgery, and perhaps a platelet injection would suffice.
As it stands now, Indians fans aren’t exactly pleased with the news, nor are they confident in the team’s ability to convey accurate injury reports or make decisions without parental review. Let’s consult the twitters.
Kipnis is out for the season and the team is lying if they think otherwise.— Tim Chodzin (@timchodz) March 19, 2017
Trying not to freak out but 6 weeks from now when the Indians say kipnis is out another 2 months I'm going to be upset. They do this a lot— JJ Rathbun (@willardrathbun) March 19, 2017
**counts out weeks**— Switz (@yo_switz) March 19, 2017
**thinks about Indians downplaying injuries**
Cody Anderson will never pitch again https://t.co/6P4asWYLDj
Will always consider not dealing Cody Anderson last winter at the peak of his value a big miss by the front office. https://t.co/8hwJySA5Lt— T.D. Dery (@TD1TribeKU) March 19, 2017
I’m not suggesting that the average fan with a cell phone and internet access is a better source for the actual severity of a player's injury or front office decision making. What I am suggesting is that the team’s recent track record of revising an original diagnosis from minor to months is overwhelming. At this point it could turn out that Tyler Naquin completely tore his ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL, and his ACLU and I’d think to myself, “Yeah, that’s about right.”
Before we all completely lose our minds, there is this to remember: Kipnis did not undergo surgery on his shoulder, nor was it a traumatic injury during a game. Brantley suffered through multiple surgeries on his road to recovery, and shoulder surgeries are notoriously slow and unpredictable in recovery. Kipnis’s shoulder inflammation is a much different story. No one has stabbed into his mortal flesh and rearranged the sinewy clockwork.
Still — it isn’t hard to imagine another scenario where progress appears to be made, hope lifts its head and blinks open its eyes, and is then smacked back down by another revised return timetable from the Indians.