Cleveland Indians: Lonnie Chisenhall should return soon

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Indians outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall is on the mend from his strained calf that he suffered on April 7th.

When Chisenhall went on the shelf, he was the Tribe’s leading hitter with a .235 batting average. Thankfully, that’s changed as most of the offensive regulars have gotten their bats going. (I’m looking at you, Jason Kipnis).

Still, a healthy Lonnie Chisenhall would really help this team get going and out of this rut that they’re in of .500 baseball.

Chisenhall is scheduled to go out on a rehab assignment as he finishes up his time on the DL. The original timeline was around 4-6 weeks for Chisenhall, and it looks like he’ll come back around the six week mark.

Some players only need a few days on a rehab assignment, while others may need to take a week or two. The Cleveland Indians are being cautious with Chisenhall here. They don’t want to rush him back and risk a setback, or another injury. Chisenhall has had his share of injuries over the years, and they don’t want to waste his final year under contract on the DL.

A healthy outfield

Keeping the outfield healthy is a major priority for this offense. Michael Brantley has been a major boost to this offense since his return. But with Chisenhall, Tyler Naquin, and Bradley Zimmer all hitting the DL, it’s a position that has seen a lot of turnover so far this season. If these health issues persist with the outfield group through the summer, it could be a big position of need at the July trade deadline.

If Chisenhall can return sometime in the next week and a half and stay healthy for the remaining four months of the regular season, and hopefully all of October, the Cleveland Indians will be better for it, and Chisenhall will be able to do better in free agency because of it.

It’s his contract year, and Chisenhall wants to be healthy more than anything. His rehab assignment could take some time, but it’s not about how quickly he can return. All the Indians should be worried about is getting him to 100% and bringing him back then, and not a day before it.

Next: Waiting for Kipnis to emerge from his slump

A healthy Chisenhall makes one less need for the Indians front office in July. That way, they can focus on fixing the bullpen and getting some fresh arms in there.