Lindor to miss 7-to-9 weeks with strained calf

Lindor to miss 7-to-9 weeks with strained calf

Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is expected to miss opening day as he recovers from a calf injury, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

In a statement the Indians said Lindor suffered the injury working out over the weekend in Orlando, his offseason home. The Indians start the regular season on March 28 in Minnesota.

The three-time defending AL Central champions Cleveland Indians seem to be in a pretty good position to win that weak division once again in 2019. The 25-year-old is an offensive force, elite defensive player and being counted on to provide more leadership this season following the departures of outfielder Michael Brantley and catcher Yan Gomes. The star shortstop posted a.277 batting averaging, hit 38 home runs and finished with 92 RBI last season.

Lindor's talent and charisma have endeared him to Indians fans, whose loyalty may be challenged this season with the club's roster makeover.

"Get well soon & keep smiling!" the team wrote.

If Lindor is unable to open the season - he's going to have to go through a fast-track version of spring training no matter when he returns - who is going to play shortstop? One choice could be sliding over All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez, who has played 109 games at short. Joyce's deal is pending a successful physical. He signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal with Cleveland in January, and will be arbitration eligible in both 2020 and 2021.

Lindor has become an indispensable player for the Indians, playing at least 158 games in each of the last three seasons. Even if it's for a week or two, the Tribe can't afford to have Lindor out of their lineup this season.