Kipnis played in just two exhibition games after reporting to spring training with a sore shoulder. He was placed on the DL on April 2. He suffered a slight setback on April 13 after he was hit on the left hand with a pitch during his minor league rehab assignment.
The two-time All-Star played a key role in helping Cleveland reach the World Series last season for the first time since 1997. He hit .275 with 23 home runs and 82 RBIs in 156 games.
To make room on the roster, the Indians sent Yandy Diaz to Triple-A Columbus.