Kipnis, Chisenhall nearing return to lineup

Kipnis, Chisenhall nearing return to lineup

CLEVELAND -- The Indians did not want Jason Kipnis or Lonnie Chisenhall to miss the pregame festivities at Progressive Field for Tuesday's home opener against the White Sox. As far as being activated to Cleveland's roster, both players remain in a holding pattern.

Prior to Tuesday's game, Indians manager Terry Francona noted that both Kipnis and Chisenhall -- each on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder issue -- are expected to continue their respective Minor League rehab assignments on Wednesday. With Double-A Akron playing at home, it is likely that they will suit up for the RubberDucks.

Chisenhall could have been activated for Tuesday's game in Cleveland, but he was not due to arrive at the ballpark until around 3 p.m. ET. Given the timing, Francona did not feel it was fair to activate him shortly before first pitch. With lefty Derek Holland starting for the White Sox on Wednesday, Thursday now looks like a realistic target date for the right fielder's return.

"Lonnie is doing pretty well," Francona said. "It was just going to be really rushed today. I think before we activate him, we want to sit down with him and let the trainers examine him. [Activating Chisenhall today] was just not the best idea."

In three rehab games with Triple-A Columbus, Chisenhall has gone 5-for-12 with one double.

Kipnis played on Sunday and Monday with Akron, going 1-for-6 in two games. Francona indicated that the next step for the second baseman will be to play in at least two consecutive games, beginning on Wednesday. The manager added that the Indians might make it three straight games for Kipnis by having him play as a designated hitter in one.

"He's going well," Francona said of Kipnis. "He's going to try to get to four at-bats [on Wednesday] playing second. Then we'll go from there."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. 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.