Even though a number of Indians already reported to camp in the past week or two, today was the first official day of workouts. There are bits and pieces of news and info out there among the photos of players working out in the Arizona sun.
– The Opening Day starter will be either Justin Masterson or Ubaldo Jimenez. It sounds like the decision has already been made, but won’t be announced until later this spring. I’d have to bet Masterson, just because the Indians seem to reward players for their performance from the prior season. It’s the reason that Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia got the nod last season. (I was ready to weep openly by the 4th inning).
– The competition between Jack Hannahan and Lonnie Chisenhall for the third base job will probably go until the end of Spring Training. I was kind of surprised by this, because I thought the job was Chisenhall’s to lose. To be fair, he has options left…I guess they could decide that he needs more “seasoning” at Triple-A. Unless his performance this spring is just insanely bad, I’d rather see Chisenhall as the starter.
– This one is kind of obvious after all of the Carmona/Hernandez business, but the fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs. Barring injury, Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Tomlin and Derek Lowe will be in the rotation on Opening Day, with the fifth starter to come from a group of Kevin Slowey, Jon Garland, David Huff, Jeanmar Gomez, and Zach McAllister. I personally like Garland and Gomez out of that bunch, but it’s a situation where really anyone could step forward and take it.
– Speaking of Jon Garland, he was supposed to get his physical with the team today, but it’s been postponed. His contract can’t be finalized until he completes the physical; it’s not a given that he passes the physical since he’s recovering from rotator cuff surgery.
– 61 players are in camp for the Indians. Two lockers were doubled up for 4 players to use.
– There are two spots open in the bullpen. Obviously the departure of Chad Durbin leaves one spot open and it sounds as if Frank Herrmann is not guaranteed a spot at the moment. It does sound like he has the edge though.
– There is no locker reserved for Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia. As it’s pointed out here, there is a locker for Michel Hernandez, a catcher in camp on a minor league deal. If there’s no locker reserved for Carmona/Hernandez, it seems pretty obvious they don’t anticipate him making it back to the United States before the end of Spring Training.
In former Indians news:
– Manny Ramirez found a new home with the Oakland Athletics. He’ll be eligible to play in early June.
– Keith Law jokes that he anticipates Colorado manager Jim Tracy deciding that Drew Pomeranz could better help the club as a lefty specialist.