Jason Kipnis is about to join a growing list of Indians players who will not be finishing the season on the field. Unlike José Ramírez and Tyler Naquin, however, we’ve probably seen the last of Jason Kipnis in a Cleveland Indians uniform altogether.
The Indians announced earlier today that the longtime second basemen will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken hamate bone. Given that its already September 17, it is highly unlikely we’ll see him play again this season, unless the Indians make a deep playoff run and he rushes back to play hero in the World Series.
It’s a sad ending for a player that has embodied what it means to be a Cleveland Indians for almost a decade. Kip has been with the Indians organization since he was drafted in 2009. In his 1121 games with Cleveland, he slashed .261/.333/.417 with 123 home runs and 135 stolen bases.
Those numbers don’t tell the whole story, however, as injuries dragged down the twilight years of 20’s and into his 30’s. In 2013, he was one of the best second basemen in baseball, and after a down 2014 he bounced back for two more years of success, culminating in playing a pivotal role in the Indians making the World Series in 2016. And who could forget that he almost won the whole damn thing with a ball that was hit just a millisecond too soon and went foul?
Kipnis is playing in the final guaranteed year of a six-year, $52.5 million contract he signed following his 2013 breakout season. Technically the Indians could pick up his 2020 option, but at a cost of $16.5 million and mounting injuries showing no signs of letting up — it’s not going to happen.
If this is it truly it for Dirtbag, I implore every Indians fan to remember the good of Jason Kipnis. Beyond his peak years, however brief they were, he always served as a clubhouse leader and the epitome of a “glue guy”. The inconsistencies caused by nagging injuries shouldn’t tarnish how much a single guy meant to a team, especially someone who rode the waves of some terrible seasons in the early ‘10s to the incredible high of a World Series.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go ugly cry in a corner somewhere.