Byrd makes Tribe after Chisenhall's setback

Fellow outfielder Cowgill will also open season with Indians

Byrd makes Tribe after Chisenhall's setback

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- An unexpected setback for right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall has caused a ripple effect for the Indians.

On Monday morning, Indians manager Terry Francona announced that Chisenhall will open the regular season on the 15-day disabled list due to a left wrist impingement. With Chisenhall out of the Opening Day picture, Cleveland informed outfielders Collin Cowgill and Marlon Byrd that they will be on the active roster to start the season.

The development with Chisenhall, who was battling a right forearm issue earlier this spring, means that utility man Jose Ramirez could see more action as an extra outfielder in the early portion of the season. The other outfielders on the roster include Rajai Davis, who can play left and center field, and rookie center fielder Tyler Naquin.

Chisenhall headed to 15-day DL

"What happened with Lonnie," Francona said, "is I think through trying to play catch-up, his other wrist has kind of gotten aggravated. We talked to him this morning, and it's just like, trying to play catch-up, I'm not sure if that's the smart thing to do."

Francona noted that Chisenhall, who played in a Cactus League game on Sunday, would be eligible to be activated from the DL on April 12, which is when the Indians open a three-game road series at Tampa Bay. Cleveland opens the season with series against the Red Sox and White Sox, making it likely that the Tribe will see an assortment of left-handed pitchers. Chisenhall plays mostly against righties.

Indians' 2016 schedule

Chisenhall will travel with the Tribe to Texas for the team's exhibition games against the Rangers on Friday and Saturday, and the right fielder will also be on hand for the April 4 season opener against Boston.

"Then we'll start to figure out where we can get him out to get some at-bats before he comes back," Francona said.

Chisenhall's situation might also impact the makeup of Cleveland's pitching staff.

Francona noted that the Indians might now be able to carry an extra pitcher to open the season, making it possible that both Josh Tomlin and Cody Anderson -- competing for the lone vacancy in the rotation -- could be on the roster. Cleveland's manager declined to go into more specifics, noting that the team would have more to announce in the coming days.

Cleveland did inform right-hander Dan Otero on Monday that he will be in the Opening Day bullpen, while lefty Kyle Crockett was optioned to Triple-A Columbus. That means that the Major League relief corps consists of Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Zach McAllister, Jeff Manship, Joba Chamberlain, Ross Detwiler and Otero.

"I thought Crock actually had a pretty good camp," Francona said. "Improved breaking ball. Certainly stronger. All the things you kind of look for with younger players. But I also think going into April, with the off-days, sometimes having a guy be able to pitch regularly, knowing you're going to pitch, as you can do in Triple-A, will benefit him more."

The Indians' 40-man roster is at capacity, meaning that corresponding transactions will be required prior to Opening Day in order to officially add Chamberlain, Detwiler and Byrd to the fold. All three of those players signed Minor League contracts and were in camp this spring as non-roster invitees.

Also on Monday, the Indians informed outfielder Robbie Grossman that he will not be on the roster and offered him the chance to explore other opportunities. Grossman can opt out of his Minor League contract with the Indians on Tuesday.

"He's more than welcome to come back with us," Francona said. "That was probably our toughest last decision with the position players. It probably came down more to the makeup of our team and how we're going to use guys. Cowgill is so good defensively and such a good baserunner, and things like that."

Francona also added that the Indians "are thrilled" that lefty Tom Gorzelanny -- recently told he would not be in the big league bullpen -- has agreed to remain with the Tribe in the Minors. Gorzelanny is eligible for a $100,000 retention bonus and an opt-out clause for June 1 in the event he does not reach the Majors.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.