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Indians Call Up Former Bulldog Chisenhall

Lonnie ChisenhallCLEVELAND, OH—The Cleveland Indians announced Monday that Columbus Clippers third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has been called up to the major leagues.

Chisenhall, a Newport, N.C. native who batted .410 for Pitt Community College in 2008, joined the Indians in Phoenix Monday evening and promptly went 2-for-4 with a double and a run batted in in the team’s 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"It was a relief," said Chisenhall, who flied out to left on the first big league pitch he saw from D-backs starter Ian Kennedy to open the second inning. "When I was up there [the next time], I got a good pitch to hit and put a swing on it."

According to the team’s official website, the Indians summoned Chisenhall from Triple-A Columbus in hopes of breathing some life into the club's ailing offense. To clear room on the roster for the young third baseman, the Tribe designated veteran infielder Adam Everett for assignment. Chisenhall is considered Cleveland's top prospect and the 28th-best prospect in baseball entering 2011, according to MLB.com.

Cleveland Manager Manny Acta said Chisenhall would start most games at third base, although there might be a day or two that he'll sit against tough left-handed pitchers.

"Otherwise he came up here to play," Acta said. "He's not a finished product by any means. He's still going to come up here and go through the learning process. But we thought it was the right time. He has the ability to be a good hitter and a good player up here overall. He's not here to be the messiah, the savior, to carry this ballclub on his shoulders. We just want him to be himself, play third base and have some fun."

Drafted by Cleveland with the 29th overall pick (first round) of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, the 22-year-old Chisenhall was batting .265 (67-for-253) in 65 games this season for Columbus with seven homers and 44 RBIs.

Earlier this month, he returned from the disabled list and hit .412 (7-for-17) with four runs scored, a triple, two home runs and 13 RBIs in four games for the Clippers to earn the Indians’ Minor League Player of the Week and International League Player of the Week honors.

In his first game back since suffering a concussion while sliding into third base on June 11, Chisenhall went 4-for-6 with a homer and six RBIs on June 22. Two days later, he finished 3-for-4 from the plate with a grand slam and five runs batted in.
Last year at Double-A Akron, the former PCC Bulldog batted .278 (128-for-460) with 81 runs scored, 22 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs and 84 RBIs in 117 games while being selected to the Eastern League All-Star game and the MLB Futures’ Game in Anaheim.

Chisenhall’s 84RBIs in 2010 led the Indians Player Development System and were tied for seventh-most in the Eastern League. His 17 round-trippers were third-most in the Indians system.