CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians will be without two of their most experienced playoff performers for an extended period.
Right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall will miss eight to 10 weeks with a strained left calf muscle, and right-hander Josh Tomlin was placed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring Tuesday.
Chisenhall suffered a Grade 3 strain while warming up before a July 2 game in Kansas City. Manager Terry Francona said he expected the 29-year-old to miss “significant time,” which was confirmed by a second medical opinion.
Both were members of Cleveland’s past three postseason teams, including its 2016 squad that lost the World Series in seven games to the Chicago Cubs.
The Indians lead the AL Central by 8½ games and appear headed to a third straight division title, but the injuries could change their approach with the July 31 trade deadline looming.
“We’ve been together six years now, most of this group, and there is a lot of trust that happens in that time,” Francona said. “We’ll sit down and figure out what’s best for all of us.”
Chisenhall is hitting .321 with one homer and nine RBIs in 28 games. He previously spent two months on the DL with a strained right calf before being activated June 5. He sat out seven weeks with the same injury last season.
Tomlin has allowed a team-high 21 homers in 49 innings, including three in his past five relief appearances. He gave up a two-run shot to Cincinnati’s Scott Schebler in the ninth inning of a 7-5 loss Monday.
The 33-year-old is 0-5 with a 6.98 ERA over 23 games, six of them starts before being pulled from the rotation in late May. This is his seventh career trip to the DL.
“I’m kind of kicking myself a little bit because I knew something wasn’t right with JT,” Francona said. “When we finally corralled him, he kind of owned up that his hammy was bothering him.”
Tomlin was chosen by the Indians in the 19th round of the 2006 draft and is the longest-tenured member of the organization. He has a 3-1 postseason record, posting wins in the 2016 ALDS and ALCS, and the 2017 ALDS against New York.
“Josh doesn’t have to stop working; he’ll never stop working,” Francona said. “I have no doubt he’ll find a way to contribute to our team, even on the DL, because that’s who he is.”