Smoke signals

• Prior to Saturday's game against Oakland, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique injury) fielded grounders at Progressive Field. Francona indicated that Kipnis might be cleared to begin a Minor League rehab assignment by next weekend.

"I think like when we leave for Baltimore [May 22-25], he would possibly go out and play," Francona said. "I think that's a pretty good timeframe. We'll see. He's going to go out in the field in the next couple days. We've just kind of let his body dictate the pace and not just the calendar."

• In the eighth inning of Friday's blowout loss, Francona gave first-base prospect Jesus Aguilar a chance to play third base against the A's. Aguilar was getting reps at the position with Triple-A Columbus prior to being called up to Cleveland on Thursday.

"I think he had only played one game in Triple-A, but he played about 10 in winter ball," Francona said. "I just asked him, 'Hey, man, do you want to go do this? Because I don't want to embarrass you.' He was like, 'No, I'd love to.'"

• On Saturday, the Indians activated right-hander J.C. Ramirez from the Minor League disabled list and transferred the pitcher to Double-A Akron. Ramirez sustained a right thumb injury during Spring Training that required surgery.

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