GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) Cleveland Indians right-hander Cody Anderson will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery and miss the 2017 season.
The AL champions said Sunday that Anderson has elected to have the operation after being diagnosed with a ligament sprain. The 26-year-old made nine starts for Cleveland last season and was expected to begin this year at Triple-A Buffalo. His loss hurts Cleveland's pitching depth.
Anderson was going to try treatment first, but decided to have surgery to ensure he misses no more than one season.
''It can be a really difficult decision,'' Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. ''Through the medical people, I think Cody made a mature decision. I think he thought it through. This way it is all in front of him now. This way he gets it done. Knowing Cody the way he works, he'll come back even better. He was working out this morning . He works so hard, He will probably come back better.''
Also, second baseman Jason Kipnis is still four to five weeks away from playing in a game as he deals with shoulder inflammation. Kipnis received a second opinion on his shoulder and has been cleared to resume a strengthening program in a week.
''That's a return to play,'' Francona said. ''It's actually pretty close to what we guessed at early.''
Jose Ramirez, Richie Shaffer, Erik Gonzalez and Giovanny Urshella are options to fill in for Kipnis until he returns.
''Ramirez went over there yesterday (second base). He's going back over there again today. Just to make sure. That is his most comfortable position but he hasn't been over there that much. We'll give him some reps over there just to keep some options open.''
Outfielder Michael Brantley is expected to make his exhibition debut on Monday when the Indians host the Los Angeles Dodgers. Brantley played in only 11 games last year following right shoulder surgery and has been easing his way back in training camp.
''Brantley is going to go three out of four,'' Francona said. ''By all accounts he is feeling really good. For me that's good enough. Wherever it leads and whenever it leads, we're probably in pretty good shape.''
Right-handed pitcher Carlos Carrasco resumed normal throwing activity after experiencing tightness in his right elbow.
''Carrasco is doing very well. He is throwing a bullpen today,'' Francona said. ''We need him to pitch on the 24th, but his wife is having a baby. Health-wise, he's good.''