In a move that was long overdue, the Cleveland Indians purchased 2B Jason Kipnis's contract from Triple-A Columbus. Buster Olney hinted at this yesterday, but no announcement was made. The very first definite news on Twitter was posted by Andrew Zajac - The beat reporter for the Class A Short-Season Affiliate of the Indians for the Indians Prospect Insider. Kipnis also hinted at this himself, tweeting : ITS TIME!!!! The news was confirmed by the Indians:
The 24 year-old Kipnis was ranked by Baseball America as the 54th best prospect in all of Major League Baseball before the season and as the second best second base prospect, behind Dustin Ackley. He has been hitting .283/.363/.485 this season at AAA and has an OPS of .864 for his entire minor league career. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus answered a question about Kipnis's offensive projection if all goes right. His answer? .300 hitter with 12-18 home runs and solid 1 per 10 walk rate.
Of course, the Indians shouldn't expect production like this out of him yet; however, they are in the middle of the AL Central pennant race and will need to get some productivity from their pivot man. Orlando Cabrera - the possessor of a .244/.275/.323 slash line had been the starting second baseman for a majority of the games this season and he will give way to Kipnis. This move makes the Indians a better and more exciting team and may be the push they need to keep them in contention in their division.
Luis Valbena was optioned to Columbus.