It turns out Jason Kipnis is not quite ready to return to the Indians lineup. After recovering from his strained oblique, Kipnis strained his hamstring before last night’s game and was placed on the disabled list. This move is retroactive to August 13th, but he will end up missing at least 14 total games due to the double header against Seattle. In his stead, the Indians will call up the super-pinch hitter that is Shelley Duncan. This will be Duncan’s 4th stint with the Tribe this season. I know what you’re thinking, “Shelley Duncan can’t play second base!” Well don’t worry, because the Indians made another roster move as well, bringing back utility man Luis Vabuena for Ezequiel Carrera. This move is a delayed reaction to Shin-Soo Choo‘s return from the disabled list. The outfield will now consist of starters Michael Brantley, Kosuke Fukudome, Shin-Soo Choo and 4th outfielder Shelley Duncan until rosters expand September 1st.
If nothing else, this move will allow the Indians to pinch hit for, now starting secondbase man, Jason Donald with Duncan, while Valbuena will be available for pinch running and as a defensive substitution. When Kipnis returns, Valbuena will probably be sent back down, while Duncan may remain on the roster for the rest of the season. When roster expansions come around I wouldn’t be surprised to see all these players back on the team along with Travis Buck, Cord Phelps, Mitch Talbot and Josh Judy.
Along these same lines, the Indians have announced that it is very unlikely that Carlos Carrasco will return before September 1st. Even though he is ready for return now, the Indians would prefer to use David Huff as the 5th starter for the rest of the season. When he comes back, Carrasco will be a spot starter and long reliever. This role is likely to be important as the Indians have 3 double headers left this year.