Cleveland Indians young third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall suffered a fractured forearm Friday, June 29 during a game against the Baltimore Orioles. As MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports on the Indians website, the misfortune resulted from Orioles reliever Troy Patton accidentally hitting Chisenhall with a 91 mph fastball. Expect Chisenhall to remain sidelined for at least four to six weeks.
Lonnie Chisenhall started the 2012 season with the Cleveland Indians' class AAA affiliate Columbus Clippers, but received a call up thanks to injuries at the big league level. In 24 games for Cleveland Chisenhall hit .278 with three long balls and nine RBIs to his credit. These statistics display improvement for the youngster who batted .255 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs over his first 66 Major League games back in 2011.
While never fun to lose a player, I see Chisenhall's unfortunate fractured forearm more as a personal hurdle for him than a team burden. I'm guessing Lonnie Chisenhall's current big league stint would have ended Monday, July 2 anyways. Bastian indicated the Tribe would probably activate designated hitter Travis Hafner, aka "Pronk," from the 15-Day DL by July 2. Between a returning Hafner and starting third baseman Jack Hannahan, playing time for the now injured Chisenhall would've become rather scarce.
Admittedly, upon Travis Hafner's return a storyline to follow features whether the designated hitter can stay healthy. Like I mention in my previously published article "Cleveland Indians' Travis Hafner Appears Ahead of Rehab Schedule: A Fan's Reaction," throughout the past few seasons "Pronk" has struggled to stay healthy.
Yet even if Travis Hafner goes down while Chisenhall recovers, the Indians possess other suitable replacements. I know I'm anxious to see class AAA Russ Canzler as an Indian. Canzler holds a decorated minor league resume, including an MVP award and various All-Star honors. This season Canzler's stats through 77 games with the Columbus Clippers reads 18 doubles, 10 homers, 43 RBIs, and a .277 batting average.
Ultimately, the Cleveland Indians can survive without Lonnie Chisenhall. However, over the long-term I do believe Chisenhall could establish himself as an irreplaceable asset for the Tribe.
Zachary Fenell fell in love with the Cleveland Indians during the 1995 season when the Tribe powered their way to the organization's first World Series appearance since 1954. While the Indians lost some allure since the 1990s you will still find Zachary watching the games on TV, listening to them on the radio, or best yet taking in a game from the stands at Progressive Field.
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- Travis Hafner
- Columbus Clippers