Kipnis exits rehab game after HBP on hand

Kipnis exits rehab game after HBP on hand

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis' latest Minor League rehab assignment did not go as planned for the Indians.

On Wednesday night, Kipnis was hit on the left hand by a pitch in the first inning of Double-A Akron's game against Trenton, leading to an early exit for the second baseman. Indians head athletic trainer James Quinlan said that Kipnis was removed from the game for precautionary reasons.

Kipnis got the start at second base for the RubberDucks and was intending to play the first in a series of two or three consecutive games. Cleveland's second baseman injured his right shoulder early in Spring Training, opened the year on the 10-day disabled list and recently began a Minor League rehab stint with Akron. Kipnis played games on Sunday and Monday with no issues.

After being hit by the pitch, Kipnis is unlikely to continue his rehab assignment on Thursday. The Indians should also have more information about his injury prior to Thursday's game against the White Sox.

In the first inning of Wednesday's game, Kipnis battled Trenton left-hander Justus Sheffield for nine pitches, with the final offering striking the second baseman on the hand. Sheffield was a first-round Draft pick by the Indians in 2014 and was traded to the Yankees last summer as part of the blockbuster deal that brought relief ace Andrew Miller to the Tribe.

Kipnis initially remained in the game, but was replaced by a pinch-hitter (Yhoxian Medina) in the third inning.

Last season, Kipnis hit .275 with 23 home runs, 41 doubles, 82 RBIs, 91 runs and an .811 OPS for the Indians. With the second baseman on the shelf, the Indians moved third baseman Jose Ramirez to second and have been playing rookie Yandy Diaz at third.

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.