Right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall’s strained left calf got a second look from specialist Dr. Wiemi Douoguih in Washington D.C. on Monday, and the news was about what the Cleveland Indians expected.
Chisenhall suffered a grade 3 strain of the left soleus muscle (calf). He is expected to miss 8-10 weeks.
The 29-year-old former first round pick of the Indians missed 50 games with a right calf strain from April 8 through June 4. He returned to the lineup and batted .343 with a home run, five doubles and nine RBI in 22 games. He returned to the DL July 3 after injuring his left calf.
Chisenhall missed all but 82 regular season games last year with a variety of injuries, including a shoulder strain and a concussion. He missed 45 games with a strained right calf before returning at the end of August.
Chisenhall’s injury is compounded by the fact that CF Bradley Zimmer is still out of action with a shoulder injury with no timetable for his return. The Indians have been rumored to be shopping for outfielders prior to the non-waiver trading deadline at the end of this month. They also recently brought back veteran OF Melky Cabrera to Class AAA Columbus and have been experimenting with top prospect Francisco Mejia as an outfielder at Columbus.
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Cleveland has recently been relying on Michael Brantley, Greg Allen and Tyler Naquin in the outfield, with Brandon Guyer and Rajai Davis also representing options on the big league roster.
For Chisenhall himself, the timing could scarcely be worse. He’s just months away from free agency, and in a best-case scenario, he’d have roughly four weeks to demonstrate his health to teams before the end of the season. He’s already been limited to a mere 95 PAs in 2018, and it’s now quite possible that he’ll head into free agency having played somewhere in the vicinity of 130 to 140 games combined in the two-year platform to his first trip to the open market. Given his success at the plate dating back to 2016 and the fact that he’ll be 30 years old for all of the 2019 season, Chisenhall should still find Major League offers on the market, but his stock is obviously weakened handily by what is now his third calf injury of the past calendar year.
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