Lonnie Chisenhall did not expect to double his career stints on the disabled list within the first two months of the 2017 campaign.
Despite a right shoulder sprain and concussion forcing him out of the outfield equation for 23 days (18 games) over the course of April and May, the 28-year-old veteran is back to full health and primed for his return to the diamond.
The Indians activated Chisenhall from the seven-day DL on Tuesday afternoon after the platoon specialist went 1-for-7 with one walk and two strikeouts in a pair of rehab games at Double-A Akron. Cleveland placed Danny Salazar (right shoulder soreness) on the 10-day disabled list in a corresponding move.
Although the cause of his head injury remains a mystery, Chisenhall underwent the concussion protocol this past week in hopes to join a reconstructed outfield comprised of Michael Brantley, Bradley Zimmer, Daniel Robertson and Austin Jackson.
Chisenhall also slammed into the wall at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz. during a Cactus League game earlier in the spring and now has logged four appearances on the disabled list throughout seven seasons in the big leagues.
With a .261/.333/.543 slash line, six doubles, six home runs, 22 RBIs and a team-leading .877 OPS (minimum 30 games played) through 33 games played this season, the services of Chisenhall aim to provide a noticeable boost for the defending American League champions.
Salazar struggled to get acclimated with the starting rotation as he registered career-highs in ERA (5.40), WHIP (1.58), opposing batting average (.274), walks per nine innings (4.58), home runs per nine innings (1.80) and home run to fly ball rate (22.4%) through 10 starts and two relief outings in 2017.
This may be more of a precautionary measure given the 27-year-old’s injury history with the right arm – Tommy John surgery (August, 2010), right arm stiffness (April, 2012), right arm strain (June, 2014), right elbow inflammation (August, 2016) and right forearm strain (September, 2016).
The Tribe moved the hard-throwing right-hander to the bullpen once the calendar turned to June.
John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.