Santana pinch-hits, Kipnis remains out of lineup

Santana pinch-hits, Kipnis remains out of lineup

CLEVELAND -- With an off-day coming on Monday, the Indians have taken a cautious approach with the respective returns of catcher Carlos Santana and second baseman Jason Kipnis from injury.

In the finale of a three-game set with the White Sox on Sunday, Santana (bruised left hand) and Kipnis (left elbow soreness) remained out of the starting lineup for Cleveland. Both players hoped to be able to rejoin the starting lineup by Tuesday, though the ballclub will continue to closely monitor their progress.

"That's probably a good day for me," Santana said of possibly returning to the starting lineup on Tuesday. "I think the off-day Monday will be good for me."

Santana, who has hit .500 with two home runs and five RBIs in eight games this season, has been held out of the lineup with his hand issue since Monday, when he got crossed up on a pitch from closer Chris Perez and was struck near his thumb. The catcher was a late scratch from the lineup on Saturday after feeling discomfort during batting practice. he pinch-hit in the ninth inning on Sunday and walked.

Kipnis -- mired in an early slump (.125 average in eight games) -- said he first felt soreness in his left elbow on Saturday. He has missed the past two games and indicated he would be re-evaluated prior to Tuesday's home game against the Red Sox.

Kipnis also dealt with a right elbow injury during Spring Training.

"I can't really pinpoint [what caused it]," Kipnis said on Sunday. "I do feel a little bit better today, but it's too early to tell. Hopefully [I'll be fine Tuesday]. I think we're going to treat it constantly for the next two days and see where we stand once Tuesday arrives."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.