CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis will make his long-awaited 2017 regular-season debut tonight against one of his hometown teams, the Chicago White Sox, at Guaranteed Rate Field.
After more than a month on the sidelines because of a shoulder issue, Kipnis was activated from the disabled list on Friday afternoon and Yandy Diaz was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to make room on the 25-man roster for the All-Star infielder.
Kipnis will reportedly bat sixth in the lineup for the Indians (8-7), who enter the weekend series with the White Sox on the heels of a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins at Target Field and a return to the top of the standings in the American League Central Division.
Last season, his sixth with the Indians, Kipnis smacked 168 hits in 610 at-bats (.275 average), with 91 runs scored, 82 RBI, 41 doubles, four triples and 23 home runs. Additionally, Kipnis stole 15 bases in 18 attempts and had a .469 slugging percentage.
The 23 home runs, 91 runs scored and 156 games played were single-season career highs for Kipnis.
Then, in the 2016 postseason, where the Indians came within one win of their first World Series Championship since 1948, Kipnis collected 14 hits in 61 at-bats, and seven of those hits went for extra bases (three doubles, four home runs).
Kipnis scored nine runs, including famously being the second Indians runner to score on a single wild pitch in Game 7 of the World Series, and drove in eight runs in postseason play.
In 763 career regular-season games, Kipnis has 808 hits in 2,966 at-bats (.272 batting average) with a .469 slugging percentage, a .343 on-base percentage, 434 runs scored, 354 drive in, 176 doubles, 21 triples, 76 home runs, 321 walks and 115 stolen bases.
While Jose Ramirez slid over from third base to second to fill in for Kipnis, Diaz batted .236 with 13 hits in 55 at-bats, nine runs scored and two RBI in 15 games for the Indians this season.
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