December 20, 2014

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Tribe notes: Nick Swisher could be DL-bound

CLEVELAND — Nick Swisher could be headed to the disabled list.

A sore left shoulder that has been bothering Swisher for much of the season kept him out of the lineup Sunday, despite manager Terry Francona’s assertion the night before that he would play.

Francona said Swisher was examined Sunday and though he said the first baseman wouldn’t be placed on the injured list today, Swisher won’t be in the lineup for the series opener with Kansas City tonight.

A trip to the DL to rest the shoulder is a strong possibility for Swisher, who told reporters Saturday that the injury is affecting his swing. Television replays showed Swisher grimacing and trying to get the shoulder loose after taking swings Saturday.

“You could tell (Saturday) night, he was feeling it,” Francona said. “It’s something that may be there, at least partially, all year.”

Swisher’s shoulder issues surfaced shortly into the season after moving to right field in the wake of an injury to center fielder Michael Bourn. Francona has limited his playing time there since, but Swisher, who is hitting .237 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs in 61 games, did start there last Monday in Texas. It was his first start in right field since May 15.

Closer chronicles

Right-hander Chris Perez (right shoulder soreness) tossed a scoreless inning Sunday in a minor league rehab outing at Class A Lake County. He allowed two hits and struck out one.

Perez could be activated today, but told reporters that he might need one more rehab appearance before returning to the bullpen.

The closer spoke to reporters Saturday but would not discuss his legal issues. Perez and his wife, Melanie, have been charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Next up

The Indians continue their nine-game homestand with a three-game series against Central Division rival Kansas City, which begins tonight at 7:05.

Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 15.26 ERA) opens the set for Cleveland against RHP James Shields (2-6, 2,79), while Ubaldo Jimenez (5-4, 4.79) goes for the Indians on Tuesday (7:05 p.m.) against RHP Ervin Santana (5-5, 2.74).

Justin Masterson (8-5, 3.52) starts for Cleveland in the series finale Wednesday (7:05 p.m.) against RHP Luis Mendoza (2-3, 4.08).

Minor details

  • Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall is still swinging a hot bat at Triple-A Columbus. He went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the Clippers’ 4-2 victory over Charlotte on Saturday, and was batting .386 with six homers and 26 RBIs in 26 games for Columbus through Saturday.
  • Double-A Akron OF Carlos Moncrief went 2-for-4 with his ninth homer in the Aeros’ 6-2 win at Portland on Saturday. Moncrief, a 14th-round draft pick in 2008 who just won Cleveland’s minor league player of the week award, entered Sunday hitting .289 with 30 RBIs in 62 games.
  • Prized shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .300, but he also committed two errors — 14 in 65 games — in High A Carolina’s 8-2 win at Myrtle Beach on Saturday.

Roundin’ third

  • Newly acquired infielder John McDonald made his first start for the Indians, playing third base and going 0-for-2 with a walk. Brought aboard for his defense, McDonald had a throwing error in the fourth inning and flew out deep to left in his first at-bat off Stephen Strasburg in the third inning.
  • The Indians entered Sunday having not recorded a save in 21 straight games, which was the longest such streak since a 22-game save-less span in 2009. Vinnie Pestano ended the streak with a save Sunday.
  • Jason Kipnis is batting .455 with a .538 on-base percentage, four stolen bases and seven RBIs over his last nine games and is riding a team-high 10-game hitting streak.
  • Cleveland has signed 13 of its 40 draft choices, including top pick (fifth overall) outfielder Clint Frazier. The deadline to sign draft picks is July 12.

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.