Francisco Lindor to miss up to 9 weeks with calf strain

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The team announced on Friday that shortstop Francisco Lindor suffered a "moderate" right calf strain while working out getting ready for spring training in Orlando, Florida.

There's one more question mark for the Cleveland Indians as spring training approaches.

The Indians, who have overhauled their roster this winter, anticipate him missing up to nine weeks, which would place his return sometime in early April.

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Cleveland Indians Shortstop Francisco Lindor (L) talks with Cleveland Indians Third base Jose Ramirez (R) during the Major League Baseball regular season game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians on September 7, 2018, at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON, Canada.

The loss of Lindor for any period is a major blow to the three-time defending division champions. "We are confident that everyone will handle this news calmly & rationally".

The 25-year-old Lindor is coming off the best season of his career. Third baseman Jose Ramirez led the team in home runs with 39.

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NOTES: The Indians reached agreement on a minor league contract with free agent outfielder Matt Joyce, who could bring depth and another option to an area of uncertainty.

Prior to joining Oakland, Joyce spent six seasons in Tampa Bay where he slugged.435 with 76 home runs and 280 RBI, earning an All-Star bid in 2011.

Cleveland's pursuit of a fourth consecutive American League Central title will fall largely at Lindor's feet after the team cut payroll this offseason and let go of key players. He signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal with Cleveland in January, and will be arbitration eligible in both 2020 and 2021.

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