CLEVELAND, Ohio – When alter arrives to a spring instruction roster, it can get there like a thunderclap. Believe Bryce Harper strolling into the Phillies’ clubhouse in Clearwater, Fla. with a 10-12 months, $333 million agreement.
Or it can get there like a smooth wind shifting by tall grass. Picture Hanley Ramirez strolling into the Indians’ clubhouse in Goodyear, Ariz. with a make-fantastic deal worth $1 million and incentives. Ramirez is 35 and could be concluded. But the Indians signed him for a cause, which signifies the items on supervisor Terry Francona’s chessboard are shifting as soon as again.
When the Indians acquired Jake Bauers from for Tampa Bay on the very last working day of the winter season conferences in December, it was imagined he and Carlos Santana would share initially base and DH. Santana returned to the Indians on the same working day as element of a 3-team deal with the Rays, Tribe and Seattle.
But Friday night, Bauers started off in still left industry against the Dodgers at Goodyear Ballpark in the Tribe’s eighth video game of the spring. Bauers performed 20 games in the outfield very last 12 months for Tampa Bay – 16 in still left industry, 4 in appropriate. By the Indians’ own admission, he’s a better initially baseman than outfielder, but if he can play still left industry it would hold his bat in the lineup.
“I talked to him the other working day about it,” Francona told reporters at the team’s instruction facility in Goodyear. “I laid it out there realistically. If Hanley is on our team, somebody has to play still left industry.
“I asked him, ‘Help me do what is finest for you.’ He claimed ‘I can do it. Just inform me the night in advance of.’ He’s been having balls in the outfield. He’ll most likely do large amount of both equally. He’s 23 several years outdated, he’s young.
“I’m not making an attempt to trick him. I’ll talk to him. I told him to converse again with me. But I believe he thinks he’ll be in a position to deal with it just great. If he can, it helps make us a better team.”
The moves never end there. Based on how substantially time Bauers spends in still left industry, it could harm the prospects of Greg Allen or one of the other outfielders in camp. When Francona and Allen achieved at the commence of spring instruction, he claimed the swap-hitter would play all 3 outfield positions to give him a opportunity to make the club.
Allen wasn’t in the starting up lineup Friday night, but he’s started off the spring strongly. He’s hitting .500 (5-for-10) with 3 runs, one homer, one RBI and a stolen base. He’s created 4 starts off, all in centre industry.
Other outfielders who could get squeezed by Bauers’ shift to still left industry are Brandon Barnes, Matt Joyce and Jordan Luplow. Barnes and Joyce are in camp on minimal-league discounts. Luplow is on the 40-gentleman roster. It all depends on what Ramirez can and simply cannot do. Francona claims he’ll be made use of strictly as a DH.
“Like we told Hanley, our purpose is to see the finest of him,” claimed Francona. “If that occurs, this is a man, who is a center of the buy-form bat.
“It’s a unique scenario (than in Boston). Acquiring let go by the Crimson Sox (very last May possibly) … there were being contractual things. We never have that below. Now it’s heading to go on performance. We have a want and we hope he can fill it.”
If Ramirez can nonetheless swing the bat, it signifies Santana would expend most of his time at initially base. But he may possibly locate himself in the outfield as nicely. It would not be the initially time Francona has performed him in still left or appropriate industry.
“He’s a better athlete than individuals believe,” claimed Francona.
The Indians and Francona have often been major on acquiring gamers who can play numerous positions. The craze has gained momentum all over baseball above the very last many several years.
“Ten several years back becoming a utility participant, individuals variety of frowned on it,” claimed Francona. “Now you have fellas like Ben Zobrist and Josh Harrison, they are fantastic gamers. And most fantastic groups have one of those people fellas. It variety of will save you.”
In for repairs: Next baseman Jason Kipnis has not performed because the 2nd video game of the spring. He’s hobbled with an harm to his still left quadriceps/hip flexor. Francona claimed he may possibly be again in the lineup on Sunday when the Indians play the Royals.
“He’s been performing everything,” claimed Francona. “He ran the bases today (Friday).”
Screening, tests: Nick Goody (appropriate elbow) and Cody Anderson (appropriate elbow) are scheduled to pitch against the Royals on Sunday. Goody threw a simulated video game on Thursday and Francona felt it went nicely. Anderson underwent Tommy John medical procedures on the spring of 2017 and has been doing the job to get again at any time because.
Signpost in the desert: Francona was asked if he wanted to have a backup shortstop and a utility participant or a utility participant who can play small in case Francisco Lindor isn’t prepared for March 28 period opener.
“I believe I’ll have a better respond to in about 3 weeks,” claimed Francona, “and we know where by Frankie is (physically). That is my finest respond to appropriate now. We’ll have a large amount better come to feel where by he’s at physically.”
Francona claimed one far more time that Lindor (strained appropriate calf) is breezing by his rehab.
Lastly: The Indians started off 7 relievers against the Dodgers on Friday night. A.J. Cole opened adopted by Brad Hand, Dan Otero, Adam Cimber, Henry Martinez, Ben Taylor and Rob Kaminsky. … Mike Clevinger threw a simulated video game on Friday. Corey Kluber is scheduled to throw one Saturday. Carlos Carrasco, Clevinger and Kluber will not pitch in Cactus League games until finally they are prepared to throw 50 pitches. … Trevor Bauer will commence Saturday against Oakland. Neil Ramirez, Tyler Olson, Alex Wilson, Nick Wittgren, Josh Smith and R.C. Orlan are scheduled to observe him.