"It's something that's lingered for a little while," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "We just thought it made sense at this point to place him on the DL and give him the time he needs to get back at full strength. We're hopeful that he won't be out too long and he'll come back quickly and at full strength."
The Indians do not currently believe Kipnis' shoulder issue will later require surgery.
"That's not our expecatation," Antonetti said.
With Kipnis on the DL (retroactive to Sunday), the Indians promoted infielder Jose Ramirez from Triple-A Columbus to fill his spot both on the active roster and in the field. In an unrelated move, the Indians also recalled lefty Kyle Crockett from Triple-A and optioned lefty Michael Roth to the same Minor League affiliate. With Marc Rzepczynski having been dealt to the Padres on Friday, the 23-year-old Crockett can help fill the lefty specialist role.
While manager Terry Francona said he may try a few different players in the leadoff spot while Kipnis is out, Ramirez got the nod atop the order for Monday's game in Anaheim. Francona added that Ramirez will get the majority of the action at second base for now.
Ramirez, 22, has split this season between Cleveland and Columbus after opening the season as the Indians' everyday shortstop. The switch-hitter hit .176 in 47 games with Cleveland between his previous two stints, but turned in a .293/.354/.408 slash line in 44 games at Triple-A. With Columbus, Ramirez collected 12 RBIs, 15 stolen bases, 16 extra-base hits and 29 runs scored.
"Guys can do one of two things," Francona said. "They can either go down and turn it around and make it better, or they can feel bad for themselves and then really be in a tough spot. To [Lonnie Chisenhall's] credit and Jose, they both did it the right way, and they're both back in the big leagues."
Kipnis was out of the lineup Sunday, when he underwent an MRI exam on his right shoulder, which has bothered him at various points this season. Before Sunday, Kipnis had served as the designated hitter three times in a five-game span, but the discomfort persisted in his throwing shoulder.
Through 101 games, Kipnis has turned in a .326/.401/.477 slash line with six homers, six triples, 31 doubles, 39 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and 66 runs. He entered Monday ranked first in the American League in hits (132) and doubles, second in on-base percentage, third in average, tied for eighth in runs scored and 10th in OPS (.878).
"I don't think this will take long," Francona said of Kipnis' DL stint. "But, it'll also give him a chance to be a complete player, and not just a DH. He doesn't need to do that."