Jason Kipnis was warned the day would come when his body betrayed him.
Early in his major league career, veterans warned Kipnis the bruises would take longer to heal and those late nights would be harder to shake in the early mornings.
That time has arrived.
“When you’re 24, the excitement, the way your body feels, you can roll out of bed with a Red Bull and feel great,” said Cleveland’s steady second baseman. “Now, I need a Red Bull to get out of bed.”
But following an injury-riddled 2017 season, Kipnis has found another gear under the warm Arizona sun.
An All-Star in 2013 and 2015, Kipnis homered in each of his first six exhibition games, evidence the 30-year-old may be primed to produce more this season.
“I’m not trying to hit home runs,” Kipnis said. “If I had my choice, I’d save them for the regular season but you don’t get to do that.”
Kipnis spent all last year battling injuries, which limited him to 90 games.
Kipnis arrived at camp with a sore right shoulder, and the lingering inflammation landed him on the disabled list before opening day.
He made two other extended trips to the DL with right hamstring problems, and if his medical issues weren’t troubling enough, the Indians moved him from the infield to the outfield and he wound up making 11 starts in center.
But he’s moved on, and so far Kipnis has been Cleveland’s best camper.
Judge thinks no Derby
Looks like Aaron Judge was a one-hit wonder when it comes to the Home Run Derby.
“I’m leaning toward not doing it,” Judge said early Thursday morning, shortly after arriving at Steinbrenner Field. “One and done is good for me.”
The 25-year-old Judge, who hit a rookie-record 52 homers last season, didn’t 100 percent rule out participating in it again, but strongly indicated his decision was final.
“I’m Home Run Derby champion, it was a cool experience, I enjoyed it all, but I don’t think I really need to go out there and do it again,” Judge said. “I won it once.”
Around the horn
The Astros have renewed the contract of shortstop Carlos Correa for the second straight year and also renewed third baseman Alex Bregman.
Correa was given a $1 million salary while in the major leagues by the World Series champions.
Bregman was renewed at $599,000 in the major leagues and $269,700 in the minors.
... Eduardo Nunez is likely to be the opening-day second baseman for the Red Sox while Dustin Pedroia recovers from offseason knee surgery.
Nunez would be the first player other than Pedroia to start a Boston opener at second since Mark Loretta in 2006. Pedroia made his major league debut Aug. 22 that year.