The Indians will enter Wednesday night's game at U.S. Cellular Field missing two key components of their offense, but they should be getting an important piece back from injury, as well.
First baseman Nick Swisher and catcher Carlos Santana both landed on the disabled list Tuesday. Swisher, who was batting .211/.312/.319 through 49 games, was diagnosed with a hyperextended left knee and placed on the 15-day DL. The team recalled first baseman Jesus Aguilar (1-for-7 in his previous stint with Cleveland) from Triple-A Columbus to fill in for the veteran switch-hitter.
"When he woke up today, the thought was it's either gonna be better or be stiff, and he woke up pretty stiff, so we walked through it," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Swisher's injury. "'OK, you're limping around like last year when you had the shoulder. Let's get you two weeks, let's get you feeling better, so you can be the player you can be.'"
The team put Santana on the seven-day concussion disabled list and consequently called up catcher George Kottaras from Triple-A. The 28-year-old Santana has been dealing with concussion-like symptoms after taking a foul-tip off his facemask on Sunday.
However, the bit of good news in Cleveland is that Tribe second baseman Jason Kipnis should finally join the team's lineup for the series finale with the White Sox, who won the first two games of the series, after missing almost a month with an oblique strain.
With all of the turnover, Cleveland's lineup should look noticeably different than it has the past few weeks, though Kipnis will argue that's not necessarily a bad thing -- it simply constitutes another challenge.
"This team is being tested right now, but that's one of the nice things about having depth. We have a lot of depth on this team. The guys we have in this locker room, is that we can throw in a different lineup there and still go out and compete and win games," Kipnis said.
On the mound, the Tribe will turn to left-hander T.J. House. The rookie is preparing to make the second start of his Major League career after the Orioles tagged him for five runs in six innings on Friday night.
For the White Sox, struggling righty Hector Noesi (0-4, 6.82) will take the hill. Noesi has only made five starts this season since being moved into the rotation from the bullpen, lasting no longer than six innings in any of those outings, and he'll have a thin bullpen working behind him after Chris Sale's start Tuesday night was cut short by a lengthy rain delay.
That puts the onus on a White Sox lineup that has been mediocre for much of May to pick up the slack. In 24 games this month, the team is batting .252 with a .309 on-base percentage and a .694 OPS that ranks 19th among Major League clubs.
"If everybody is not hitting, every guy wants to go to the plate and do something more impactful," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "They are trying to do too much instead of just playing the game and let the game come to you and put the bat on the ball and whatever happens, happens."
Indians: Kottaras sympathizes with Santana
Kottaras, called up amid the latest rash of Tribe injuries, knows what Santana is going through. The backup catcher has experienced two concussions of his own: one from a collision at home plate and another from taking a foul tip off his mask.
"I know how it feels, and it doesn't feel good at all," Kottaras said. "Shakes you up pretty good."
Both experiences have enhanced his appreciation for the league's creation of the seven-day concussion disabled list.
"Yeah, I mean that's one of those things that's inevitable, if you're back there and you take a foul tip. And everyone is throwing so hard, it'll knock you up pretty good. The seven-day DL thing is actually good because it takes about a week until you start noticing a difference. It's a great thing," Kottaras said.
White Sox: Paulino dealing with sore shoulder
The White Sox returned Felipe Paulino from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte after he experienced some right shoulder soreness. The team had placed him on the disabled list on April 19 with inflammation of his right rotator cuff.
Paulino, 30, posted an 0-2 record with an 11.29 ERA in four starts for the White Sox. He allowed 10 runs on 13 hits over 3 2/3 innings in his last start against the Rangers during a 12-0 loss on April 18.
His rehab starts produced equally poor results. Paulino yielded 29 hits and 16 walks over 19 2/3 innings and continued to work with high pitch counts.
"I don't know if he's seriously injured, but I think you look at the numbers and everything that's right there [and] you still think there's something there," Ventura said. "We'll continue to evaluate that."
• The Indians pitching staff has recorded 462 strikeouts this season -- a mark that leads the Majors. On Monday, the club turned in its 24th double-digit strikeout game of the season, which is also the most in baseball.
• With his four-hit performance on Monday, White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie has five multi-hit games since May 14 entering Tuesday. He has hit .429 over that span.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.